Perfect weather last weekend inspired to explore a new preserve: Chain O'Lakes State Park in Spring Grove, Illinois. A lovely day is always ripe for adventure, so exploring we did go! We did very little research on Chain O'Lakes before visiting, so we were truly winging it. But, trips without expectations are often the best!
We did get a little confused driving in and were not sure where to park to catch the trails. However, we quickly learned that we could pick up the trails from the picnic area. We hiked the Nature's Way Hiking Trail that begins at the Oak Grove Picnic area. Much of the hike was in a shaded area which allows for a more pleasant hike on a warmer day.
The Chain O'Lakes area contains Illinois highest concentration of natural lakes. The state park borders on three of the lakes and the beautiful Fox River. Altogether, 15 lakes make up the chain connected by the Fox River. The area is picturesque even during just a drive through. However, there is nothing liking sitting and relaxing with a crystal water view!
Often when we hike on a Sunday afternoon, we can find the trails to be a bit more congested than we would like. However, we did not find this to be the case during our visit. Subtle terrain made for an easy hike. We did not see too much wildlife except around the Fox River. There is plenty of space to spread out near the river, so don't be afraid to settle down for a serene view and a little peace. There is a concession area there but not really something to write home about so I recommend bringing your own. Overall, a pleasant hiking experience!
Activities at Chain O'Lakes:
- Picnicking: There are several picnic areas. Oak Grove Picnic Area has a playground. There are swings near the concession area.
- Horse Riding: Guided rides are available early spring through camping season.