A Little Time and a Keyboard: Blissful Forest Bathing in Bliss Woods Forest Preserve of Sugar Grove, Illinois

Friday, October 30, 2020

Blissful Forest Bathing in Bliss Woods Forest Preserve of Sugar Grove, Illinois

Bliss Woods Forest Preserve of Sugar Grove, Illinois

Blissful Forest Bathing in Bliss Woods Forest Preserve of Sugar Grove, Illinois

Bliss Woods Forest Preserve certainly presented a blissful nature display as we enjoyed fall colors at peak last weekend. The preserve offers a blend of an Oak-Hickory woodlands and Sugar Maple-Basswood woodlands. We first encountered the deep red of oak trees in fall. Soon, we found ourselves ambling through a golden wonderland.

Golden avenue of trees beckons at Bliss Woods in Sugar Grove.
Golden avenue of trees beckons at Bliss Woods in Sugar Grove.

Bliss Woods features a unique geological feature called an esker which is a ridge of the gravel left by a river flowing under a melting glacier. This particular esker represents the remnants of the Kaneville Esker. Much of the Kaneville Esker was mined, so just a portion remains today.

The remnant of the Kaneville Esker added additional interest to the hike.
The remnant of the Kaneville Esker added additional interest to the hike.

A trail did wind up the esker. This time of year, I recommend being quite cautious and possibly bring along hiking sticks if you take the trail up. The slopes can be steep and fallen leaves make the trail quite slippery. Rocks poked through the leaf bed at spots, so although the rocks provide footing rocks under leaves can cause slippage. Once atop, the view of the valley is beautiful.

Blackberry Creek curling through Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.
Blackberry Creek curling through Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.

Blackberry Creek charmingly curves through the preserve. We enjoyed a fall creek view with a rainbow of leaves framing the creek.

Earthy gnomes adorn a few trees at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.
Earthy gnomes adorn a few trees at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.

As we wandered the preserve, we noted little gnomes on some of the trees. We followed the Virgil Gilman Bike Trail through the preserve and located 4 gnomes. The trail connecting other preserves went one miles past where we walked, so I am not sure if the gnomes continued further.

Tree fungus emerging in the fall woods.
Tree fungus emerging in the fall woods.

We are loving all sorts of natural treasures that emerge and are highlighted as leaves fall away. We noted a wide variety of fungus at Bliss Woods. The weeks to come will reveal some real beauty. Take a moment to pause and enjoy it.

Blending of the golds and reds of fall.
Blending of the golds and reds of fall in the woods.

Bliss Woods Forest Preserve also includes an 18-acre wetland basin in addition to the riparian environment at Blackberry Creek. As you can see, Bliss Woods present a pretty diverse nature spot to discover. Bliss Woods Forest Preserve provides an opportunity to observe a variety environments throughout the seasons. We certainly savored our walk enveloped by the fall woods. I look forward to future visits and am wondering if we will discover more gnomes!

Blissful Forest Bathing in Bliss Woods Forest Preserve of Sugar Grove, Illinois



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