Saturday, September 29, 2018

Fox River Views at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois

Hiking and Birding at Red Oak Nature Center along the Fox River in Batavia, Illinois

Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois rests along the Fox River providing trails following along the meandering river as well into the forest. Trails connect the preserve to nearby natural areas. We have always found Red Oak Nature Center to be a nice spot to see wildlife and last Sunday was no disappointment. If you look closely in the photo below, you will see a blue heron at the water's edge:


Blue Heron at the edge of the Fox River at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois
Blue Heron at the edge of the Fox River
For families, Red Oak Nature Center engages children in nature learning through live wildlife and hands-on activities. Nature events throughout the year enhance discovery. However, you do not have to visit the nature center itself to appreciate the preserve's wonders. We have seen quite a variety of birds as well as deer at this preserve.


A peek inside at the hands-on learning stations:

Hands-on learning about our local nature at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois.
Hands-on learning about our local nature.
Magnificent Views of the Fox River:

Not too far from the center is a point of lookout on the river with views like this:


A small dolomite cave a short walk from the center is a fun surprise for families to explore. There is a map near the nature center that will show the direction to the cave as you will have to follow the bike path.

Little dolomite cave at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois
Little dolomite cave at Red Oak Nature Center.
From the cave, we continued hiking a long the river. This part of the hike will take you to North Aurora Island Park if you go far enough. We only went so far so we could turn around and enjoy the forested loop on the other side of the center.


The wooded loop on the other side of the center is one of my favorites and is where we often see wildlife. There are trails in the area that head from here towards Lippold Park, so you may want to check those out too in order to extend your hike.

Hiking in the forest at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois
Hiking at Red Oak.
We always enjoy a nice visit exploring Red Oak Nature Center. I really love its position on the Fox River and we have enjoyed discovering wildlife in the preserve. I would like to explore a little further on the Fox River E Trail during our next visit.


Tips for Visiting Red Oak Nature Center:


  • Bring birding binoculars: This will help you see birds that may be hiding in the brush on the edge of the water. We always see birds at this preserve, so they will help you get a better view.
  • Walk to the cave: The cave is not on the trails immediately around the nature center. There is a map near the center that shows its location south of the center.
  • Fox River E Trail: The Fox River E Trail is the bike/hiking trail that runs through the preserve and connects it to others on the Fox River.
Hiking at  Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, Illinois

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