A Little Time and a Keyboard: Ryerson Conservation Area in Deerfield--Pure Wow!

Ryerson Conservation Area in Deerfield--Pure Wow!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Boardwalk at Ryerson Conservation Area in Deerfield, IL

On Sunday, we opted to stretch our legs somewhere new. For as many times as we quite literally have been in the "neck of the woods," I can't believe we hadn't previously uncovered Ryerson Conservation Area in Deerfield. I mean there are boardwalks--who can pass those up?

Downed tree in the woods

Ryerson has a Visitor Center where you can orient yourself. The Visitor Center is not as sizable as others in the area. But, it is handy for picking up maps, asking questions and heading to the restroom. The Lake County Forest Preserves are taking part in conservation efforts to help the Blanding's Turtle. The Visitor Center did have an adorable Blanding's Turtle you can take a peek at. Currently, there is also a small exhibit on bird collisions. Bird collisions are a concern in the Chicago area due to skyscrapers.

Once you leave the Visitor Center, you have your choice of trails as well as an opportunity to peek at a small farm. The farm does have sheep and chickens. Outside of the center, we found hummingbird feeders. To our delight, we saw a hummingbird!

Wetlands at Ryerson Woods

Immediately upon embarking upon our chosen trail, we were entranced by the green hues all around. In general, the trails are easy to navigate. The area can be marshy, so some areas may be muddy. There are boardwalks here and there, thus making foot travel a little easier. The good thing about mud---tracks are easy to see!

Deer tracks at Ryerson Woods

In full swing, spring blooms greet hikers with a different palette of flowers each visit. Currently, trillium dots swaths of the preserve. Beautiful!

Trillium at Ryerson Woods in Deerfield, Illinois

The preserve does abut the Des Plaines River. The section of trail that would have taken us to the river was pretty muddy, so we are leaving a visit to the river for a future adventure.

Logs and wetland at Ryerson

The Ryerson Conservation Area encompasses a historic district containing retreat cabins built in the 1920's-1950's. A country home, Brushwood, was built in the 1930's. The home today is the Brushwood Center which hosts art and nature classes, art exhibitions, musical symposiums, lectures and more.


Ryerson is one of the most peaceful preserves we have walked in. A wonderful place to walk for a little mind reset!

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