Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve Waterfall and Hike in South Elgin, Illinois

Illinois Waterfall near Chicago at Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve  in South Elgin, Illinois

Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve Waterfall and Hike  in South Elgin, Illinois

Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve in South Elgin, IL makes for a perfect afternoon nature adventure exploring trails, woodlands, prairie, river views and even a waterfall. We capitalized on a beautiful sunny afternoon to wander through the captivating preserve.




Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve is home to Blackhawk Station for the historic Fox River Trolley. So, you will see tracks but note that they are for the trolley. The preserve is nestled on the Fox River with spectacular views. The Fox River Regional Bike Trail and the River Bend Regional Bike Trail both go through the preserve. Across the river is Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve which is a preserve I have yet to visit.

Fox River Bike Trail bridge over to Tekakwitha from Jon Duerr Forest Preserve.
Fox River Bike Trail bridge over to Tekakwitha from Jon Duerr Forest Preserve.
We noted the Fox River Bike Trail Bridge across to Tekakwitha while hiking. We will have to back and cross it when we have a little more time! Every preserve I have explored on the Fox River has been stunning, so I will need to check it out!



During our hike, we were mainly in the wooded area but did encounter areas of the remnant prairie. We found the preserve to be excellent for birding. Picnicking, biking and fishing are also available. Additionally, there are boat launches. Of interesting note, the forest preserve is the location of graves for two unknown soldiers in General Winfield Scott's Army who perished during the Black Hawk War.


Hiking along the River Bend Regional Bike Trail, you will discover an 8 ft. natural waterfall! If you are unable to walk, there is a parking lot nearby. Definitely check the map of the forest preserve before heading to the waterfall because there is a bit of a break between the sections. While the waterfall is easy to find, it can be just a tad confusing. The waterfall actually isn't too far from a quarry which you will most likely note while on the trail.


We found Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve to be peaceful and beautiful especially with the fresh, new green hues of spring. Our hike through the preserve ushered in a sense of tranquility that we needed for the day. Of course, we were delighted to discover the waterfall! We reveled in our adventure to Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve and know we return!

Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve Waterfall and Hike  in South Elgin, Illinois

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