A Little Time and a Keyboard: Winding Trails and Finding a Pond Full of Frogs at Carl R. Hansen Woods in Hoffman Estates, IL

Friday, August 28, 2020

Winding Trails and Finding a Pond Full of Frogs at Carl R. Hansen Woods in Hoffman Estates, IL

Winding the trails of Carl R. Hansen Woods and a Pond Full of Frogs in Hoffman Estates, IL

Winding Trails and Finding a Pond Full of Frogs at Carl R. Hansen Woods in Hoffman Estates, IL

Part of the extensive Arthur L. Janura Preserve, Carl. R. Hansen Woods in Hoffman Estates afforded us access to the Poplar Creek Trail System. Several trails wind through the woodlands and prairie as well as around the wetlands. Upon our arrival, we happened upon a sign detailing how conservationists and community members have worked to restore ecosystems to the former farmland. We began our hike with immediate appreciation for the rich ecosystems.

The unpaved path beckoned us forward on this section of the Poplar Creek Trail System
The unpaved path beckoned us forward on this section of the Poplar Creek Trail System

So many aspects of Arthur L. Janura Preserve surprised us. Instantly, we became enveloped by the greens of the forest. We noted the old oak trees with their curly branches reaching out enchanting us down the path. We also loved the feel of a natural path beneath our feet.

Golden coneflowers inspired smiles of wonderment as we ambled through Carl R. Hansen Woods.
Golden coneflowers inspired smiles of wonderment as we ambled through Carl R. Hansen Woods

A Sea of Gold Buoys Your Outlook

Several times on this midsummer adventure, we ambled through seas of gold full of yellow coneflowers. How can you not feel pure joy when buoyed by brilliant gifts of nature! Late summer remains one of my favorite parts of the year as golden blooms take over.

The woods enveloped us as we hiked the natural path at Carl R. Hansen Woods
A natural woodland path calls.

We did amble a little more through the woods. Rambling on a bit less trafficked part of the trail at this time, we reveled in the bird symphony of the forest. We easily picked out the now-familiar-to-us call of a catbird. At that time, we did not realize that we would soon be wrapped up in views of  wetlands. Looking at the trail map, my husband and I both thought that we would be encountering a pretty small wetland area. But, behold, the views are spectacular!

Wetlands in Arthur L. Janura Preserve welcome wildlife.
Wetlands in Arthur L. Janura Preserve welcome wildlife.

Much to our delight, the perimeter of the pond welcomed many a frog. Spotting frogs amused us for some time. As we left, we spied families coming up the woodland path towards the pond no doubt in hopes of also observing our frog friends!

Frogs enjoying some sunning at Carl R. Hansen Woods
Frogs enjoying some sunning!

Take a little peek at the photo above and you will see some of our frog friends sunning themselves along the edge of the pond. After pausing to check out the frogs, we headed past the pond back into the woods. Here we found some Joe-Pye Weed symbolic of being in the heart of summer. 

Joe-Pye Weed dotted the woodland at Carl L. Hansen Woods.
Joe-Pye Weed dotted the woodland.

Overall, the Poplar Creek Trail System consists of 20.9 miles of trails with a variety of access points. Hiking, biking, birding, picnicking and other nature activities are welcome. While not at Carl R. Hansen Woods, other portions of Arthur L. Janura Preserve offer fishing. The larger preserve certainly invites days of wandering! The restoration of former agricultural land in this preserve is remarkable!

We did visit Carl R. Hansen Woods on one of summer's extremely hot days, We would like to wind more through this section of the Poplar Creek Trail System on a future visit when it is cooler out as well as explore other sections. Many adventures are ahead!

Woods and a Pond Full of Frogs in this section of the Poplar Creek Trail System in Hoffman Estates, IL



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