A Little Time and a Keyboard: River Rambling Along the Fox River at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Illinois

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

River Rambling Along the Fox River at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Illinois

River Rambling Along the Fox River at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Illinois

River Rambling Along the Fox River at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Illinois 

Coursing through Northern Illinois, the Fox River charms nature lovers throughout the state with dazzling views from towns and preserves along the river. A few weeks ago, we marveled at the realization that despite visiting St. Charles so many times, we had somehow missed wandering through Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve. With the benefit of a balmy late fall day, we went in search of splendid river views and were certainly rewarded at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve.

The Fabulous Fox River frames by scraggly branches.
The Fabulous Fox River framed by scraggly branches.

Fox River Bluff West contains about 2.27 miles of trails traversing through woodlands, wetlands and prairie. For me, the star certainly was enjoying trail portions hugging the Fox River. 

Hiking up through the wooded area on the bluff at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Illinois
Hiking up through the wooded area on the bluff.

Hiking on the Bluff

Rugged portions of the trails climb up onto the bluff. Trails form a variety of loops, making it easy to adjust your hike. You will probably notice quickly upon visiting that this preserve is pooch friendly. During visit, quite a few pups were having their best days ever! There is an off area as well, if you are looking for a dog park with beautiful scenery. A preserve for everyone!

Overlooks provide majestic views of the Fox River!
Overlooks provide majestic views of the Fox River at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve.

Reveling in River Views

The Regional Trail Bridge crosses the Fabulous Fox at Fox River Bluff West. The Red Gate Bridge invites walkers to sparkling river views. Several overlooks enthrall as you hover over the middle of the river. Definitely, a popular selfie spot! I definitely felt awe when looking at the Fox River flowing all around me.

Trees reflecting at Fox Bluff River West Forest Preserve.
Trees reflecting at Fox Bluff River West Forest Preserve.

The Fox River flows south to the Illinois River. Views throughout inspire and leave you with wonder. If you are lucky, you will spot a bald eagle along the Fox. Crossing the bridge, you have access to the Fox River Trail which runs along the river. We followed the Fox River Trail for a bit before heading back across the bridge.

The Fox River flowing in front of me as I stand on the Red Gate Bridge.
The Fox River flowing in front of me as I stand on the Red Gate Bridge.

After crossing the bridge, we headed along the Red Gate Trail Boardwalk connecting to another preserve trail. We did find that trail a bit quieter on the day of our visit as opposed to the bridge. As we angled back towards the car, I felt appreciation for this beautiful day reveling in magical water views.  While Fox River Bluff West does not have a ton of trails, the views are breathtaking!


River Rambling Along the Fox River at Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Illinois


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