A Little Time and a Keyboard: Hiking Off of the Des Plaines River Trail to Beck Lake

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Hiking Off of the Des Plaines River Trail to Beck Lake


Hiking Off of the Des Plaines River Trail to Beck Lake Enjoying Fantastic Birding

Hiking Off of the Des Plaines River Trail to Beck Lake Enjoying Fantastic Birding Near Mount Prospect, IL

Throughout autumn, we have been exploring as many trails as possible to witness what beauty unfolds during the change of season. Plenty of entry points to the Des Plaines River Trail offer access to stunning forested areas. We hiked a along one section in Lake County earlier this season. On a day where we had to stay a bit closer to home, we opted to ramble along the Camp Pine Woods section near Mount Prospect taking a path that spindled off to Beck Lake. Immediately upon embarking on our trail, we were enveloped by the fall forest.

Fall colors dazzle along the Des Plaines River Trail
Fall colors dazzle along the Des Plaines River Trail

While the day was cloudy at first, the autumn forest did not disappoint. We relished in brilliant hues and squirrels and chipmunks scurrying about to store nuts for winter. The Des Plaines River Trail was fairly easy to navigate even while sharing the trail with bikes. Such a beautiful stretch of the trail folded right into the forest!

Beck Lake sparkles in the autumn sun.
Beck Lake sparkles in the autumn sun.

Winding Towards Beck Lake:

We did spindle off on a more rugged trail towards Beck Lake. The footpath narrows in spots. We found the footpath fantastic for birding. Along the path, a speckled pattern caught my eye. I discovered a woodpecker feather! 

Discovering a woodpecker feather on the trail.
Discovering a woodpecker feather on the trail.

We eventually made our way to Beck Lake. At one point, the path opened up and the lake unfolded before us. Awe descended over us while observing the 37-acre lake before us. Unfamiliar with this particular trail, I did not realize how large the lake was until it appeared before me. Beck Lake is enjoyed by many offering fishing and boating in addition to being a noted birding area. The lake is even a location for ice fishing in winter!

Beck Lake dazzling before us.
Beck Lake dazzling before us.

As we hiked back towards Camp Pine Woods, we enjoyed spying a variety of birds. I love hiking on gray days with just a little rain because you tend to see more birds! The trail to Beck Lake certainly treated us with plenty of bird friends!


Color symphony of the fall woods along the Des Plaines River.
Color symphony of the fall woods along the Des Plaines River.

We hiked back on a trail closer to the Des Plaines River. After meandering along the river, we came out in a section full of blazing yellows, oranges and reds. A fantastic nature ending to our hike! The Des Plaines River Trail heads through more than a dozen forest preserves. So, exploring it invites hikes to through such range of experiences. We reveled in our time trekking to Beck Lake and look forward to more rambles along the Des Plaines River.

Hiking Off of the Des Plaines River Trail to Beck Lake Enjoying Fantastic Birding Near Mount Prospect, IL


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