A Little Time and a Keyboard: A Nest of Trails, Lake Views and Forest Treasures at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton, Illinois

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

A Nest of Trails, Lake Views and Forest Treasures at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton, Illinois

A Nest of Trails, Lake Views and Forest Treasures at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton, Illinois



A Nest of Trails, Lake Views and Forest Treasures at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton, Illinois

Often, our hiking adventures have taken us to preserves all around Herrick Lake Forest Preserve. My interest piqued every time we drove past on our way to a different destination. On a sunny fall day, we finally adventured to Herrick Lake Forest Preserve and certainly were dazzled. Immediately upon parking, I was ready to soak in lake views. Herrick Lake presents a striking yet tranquil landscape. We noted a few visitors quietly sitting by the lake, some reading books. How could you not want to sit for awhile soaking up this view:

Rusty fall colors frame Herrick Lake in Wheaton, Illinois.
Rusty fall colors frame Herrick Lake in Wheaton, Illinois.

After reveling in lake views, we began hiking through the woodlands. We quickly learned that over 7 miles of trails weave through the preserve including the Danada-Herrick Lake Regional Trail  connecting Danada Forest Preserve. Trail markers made navigating easy! During our visit, we hiked a bit of a mish-mash of trails combining sections.

Remains of trees add interesting natural sculptures at Herrick Lake in Wheaton, IL.
Remains of trees add interesting natural sculptures at Herrick Lake.

We noted the bones of the forest starting to emerge while leaves tumbled to rainbow piles on the floor . The artistry of the forest captivates in all seasons and the bones of the forest delighted. I love studying the shapes of the remains of trees as they decompose. The stump above almost glowed in the fall sunlight enhanced by brilliant orange leaves above. You never know what you will discover!

Rust colors of fall give the forest a warm, earthy tone.
Rust colors of fall give the forest a warm, earthy tone.

Although visiting during late fall, we enjoyed truly beautiful rusty fall colors all around. Additionally, we spotted a number of blue jays enjoying spectacular blue blazes flying by the burnished colors of late autumn. Spectacular!


We did find a few brilliant trees still left as we wandered through woodlands. However, now is the time to see the forest, meadow, marsh and wetlands at Herrick Lake in a newer light. We spotted a nice ridge through the preserve that will become more noticeable once foliage has died down. In one spot, we noted the remains of a tree with a natural window up on the ridge!

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve is part of a chain of 3,700 acres of green spaces including Danada, Blackwell, Warrenville Grove and St. James Farm offering visitors so much opportunity for nature adventures. The preserve includes land that was once Ira Herrick's farm. Herrick settled in the area in 1833. Today, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, picnicking an horseback riding. Kayak, canoe or rowboat rentals are available in the warmer months. With all of its trail connections, visiting Herrick Lake Forest Preserve and surrounding natural spaces offer a full day of exploring the outdoors with a range of experiences.

Herrick Lake charms with tranquility.
Herrick Lake charms with tranquility.

A Nest of Trails, Lake Views and Forest Treasures at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton, Illinois


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