A Little Time and a Keyboard: Late Winter Wander at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, IL

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Late Winter Wander at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, IL

 Late Winter Wander at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, IL

Late Winter Wander at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, IL

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve finds its home not too far from The Morton Arboretum. Venturing to The Morton Arboretum quite regularly for hiking, we have passed by way to many times without stopping at this beautiful preserve. Looking for a little adventure and something new last Saturday, we finally made a stop.

Exploring Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, Illinois
 Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, Illinois

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve ranks as a favorite fishing spot in the suburbs. The preserve holds two manmade lakes, both of which are open to fishing. During our adventure, we noticed anglers enjoying some ice fishing. However, the temperatures have since risen so I warn against stepping on the ice if any remains at this time.

Ice fishing at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in winter.
Ice fishing at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in winter.

While hiking towards a perch above the lake for a view, we crossed a bridge and noticed the DuPage River to the side full of water fowl! Geese and ducks were certainly enjoying temperatures that were finally inching out of a recent Arctic blast. Snow geese flew over us. We really could sense spring in the air despite the frosty appearance of the preserve. Change is coming!

Pausing to watch water fowl enjoying sunny weather on the DuPage River at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve.
Pausing to watch water fowl enjoying sunny weather on the DuPage River.

Along the two miles of trails, we enjoyed crossing the DuPage River and dipping into the woodlands. The sun dangling above the trees illuminating the river was a magical sight.

The sun illuminating the snow framed DuPage River.
The sun illuminating the snow framed DuPage River.

The two fishing lakes are Round Meadow Lake and Eagle Lake. Since both are manmade, where does the preserve derive its name? Interestingly, the actual "hidden" lake is a glacially sculpted pond hidden in the woodlands.

Charming bridge crossing the DuPage River at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve.
Charming bridge crossing the DuPage River at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve.

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve provides a nice oasis for hiking, picnicking, fishing, lake views and river views. We look forward to returning on a warmer day for more exploring. Hidden Lake is not too far from quite a few other preserves, so we hope to make a day of it wandering several preserves including Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County system.

Late Winter Wander at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove, IL


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