A Little Time and a Keyboard: Winter Hiking in Nature's Snow Globe at The Morton Arboretum

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Winter Hiking in Nature's Snow Globe at The Morton Arboretum

Winter Hiking in Nature's Snow Globe at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois

Enchanted by Nature's Snow Globe on a Winter Hike at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois

Hiking through the quiet stillness of a forest under a fresh blanket of snow welcomes a calmness to the soul. We began our new year embarking on such a hike, wandering on our favorite trail near Lake Marmo at The Morton Arboretum. On the hunt for a flare of green from evergreens, we knew the trail would take us through Hemlock Grove and treat us to other evergreens along the way.

Winter calm at frozen Lake Marmo at The Morton Arboretum.
Winter calm at frozen Lake Marmo.

Snowballs on Lakes and Walking in a Snow Globe

We parked near Lake Marmo. Immediately, we hiked to the lake taking in the frozen scene. Snowballs topping the frozen lake captivated me. We noted other intrepid snow hikers pausing to take photos of the scenery focusing in on details big and small.

Snowballs rested upon the frozen lake at Morton Arboretum.
Snowballs rested upon the frozen lake at Morton Arboretum.

I took in views of the lake from different angles. The shoreline was pretty intriguing with grasses and soil peeking out from underneath the snow. Sticks that once floated in water stood out. The snowballs remained my favorite, though!

Bridge through a winter wonderland at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.
Bridge through a winter wonderland.

Embracing the Green of Evergreens

Nearby, we would cross a bridge to head towards the Hemlock Grove. We did have to walk along the street to move from the lake to the grove. The grove took us up a hill, up through hemlock and other evergreens. 

Reveling in a spot of green in a grove of lofty evergreens at Morton Arboretum.
Reveling in a spot of green in a grove of lofty evergreens.

When in search for a flash of color in the winter, I often seek out evergreen groves. I especially enjoy glancing up at their lofty crowns! Evergreens are beautiful in all seasons but I particularly love them in the winter with a dabble of snow.

Dancing in a snow globe among the evergreens at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.
Dancing in a snow globe among the evergreens at Morton Arboretum.

After dancing under the cover of evergreens, we came to a clearing. Just as we entered the clearing, snow began to fall. Such a magical, snow globe moment!

Be on the Lookout for Tracks

As we hiked, we kept an eye out for tracks. We found quite a few trails left by deer as they made their way to the river for water. We also spotted squirrel and coyote tracks. Of course, you will also note the presence of humans by boot tracks and even hiking pole tracks! Also, keep your eye out  for other little treasures in the snow including pine cones of all sizes, leaves curled or flat, berries, sticks, pine needles and more!

Deer tracks discovered in the snow.
Deer tracks discovered in the snow.

Circling the Frozen Lake Near the Visitor Center

We also wandered the loop circling the lake adjacent to the Visitor Center. The loop around the lake was cleared very well, making it a different experience than hiking in other areas of the preserve. So if you are looking for an option with less ice and snow, this loop is perfect for you! One of my favorite features of this lake is the grove of evergreens that juts out into the lake as well as the little island. So beautiful! Showing how different each winter can be, last January was warm enough for us to spot a Great Blue Heron here!


Amber grasses and deep green and rusty brown evergreens add color at Morton Arboretum in winter.
Amber grasses and deep green and rusty brown evergreens add color at Morton Arboretum in winter.

With such a diverse collection of landscapes and trails, The Morton Arboretum provides a venue for many intriguing winter adventures. We escaped for a morning ambling through a winter wonderland complete with snow gracefully floating to the ground. The Morton Arboretum is truly a magical place for hiking all year round including winter adding some light to those gray days!

Recommendations for Winter Hiking at The Morton Arboretum:

  • Dress for the weather.
  • Wear appropriate shoes. Sneakers are not going to cut it in some areas.
  • Bring extra dry socks just in case!
  • Hiking sticks are quite helpful if there is snow and possibly ice on the ground. 
  • Cross-country ski and snowshoes rentals are available starting January 15.
  • Bringing a warm tea, coffee or hot cocoa will help keep you warm.
  • Bring water and snacks. 
  • Still use sunscreen!
  • Keep track of the trails you are on so you don't get lost in the winter weather. Sometimes, we time ourselves so much time in one direction and then come directly back.
  • Take note of weather related closures.
  • Check the weather before going out.
  • Currently, The Morton Arboretum requires timed entries. So, reserve yours. Admission fees apply.
Winter Hiking in Nature's Snow Globe at The Morton Arboretum



2 comments:

  1. It looks so pretty! I love winter woods hiking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful a great way to enjoy nature and excercise!

    ReplyDelete