A Little Time and a Keyboard: Wildflower Loving, Ravine Gazing and Hiking Along a Lake at Reed-Turner Woodlands in Long Grove, Illinois

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Wildflower Loving, Ravine Gazing and Hiking Along a Lake at Reed-Turner Woodlands in Long Grove, Illinois

 Wildflower Loving, Ravine Gazing and Hiking Along a Lake at Reed-Turner Woodlands in Long Grove, Illinois

Hiking Through Woodlands, Into Ravines and Along a Lake at Reed-Turner Woodlands

A chilly spring day brought us to a new-to-us forest preserve in Long Grove, Illinois -- Reed-Turner Woodlands. My husband and I actually enjoy hiking on the chillier, cloudy days because there tend to be fewer people on the trails. This means more tranquility and also a higher likelihood of seeing wildlife! As newbies to Reed-Turner, we did not know the nature delights that would unfold before us. Soon, we found ourselves enjoying a magical preserve.

Virginia bluebells and other wildflowers carpeted the woodland floor of  Reed-Turner Woodlands during our visit.
Virginia bluebells and other wildflowers carpeted the woodland floor of
 Reed-Turner Woodlands during our visit.

Immediately upon driving into the preserve, we noted the natural richness of the property. Spring wildflowers surrounded us almost immediately. After parking, we discovered the trail map and spied a series of trails. The nature center stood not too far away. I learned later that the nature center was once the summer home of Guy Reed who became the first village president of Long Grove. Eventually, Guy Reed's daughter, Barbara Reed-Turner, would live in the home year round with her family. Known as a steward of nature, she would donate the land to the public as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

As we started winding on the trails of Reed-Turner, we immediately noted wildlife. Initially, the trails we hiked had gentle rolls. We had no idea about the ravine we would eventually behold.


Soon, we approached the lake. While tracing the lake, we noted quite a few birds including an egret and ducks. We even spotted a few turtles sunning despite the chilly day. The lake is stunning! There also is a blind to help you scout birds.

Brilliant sharp-lobed hepatica popped on the forest floor.
Brilliant sharp-lobed hepatica popped on the forest floor.

A Carpet of Wildflowers

We continued our wander through the woodlands spying plenty of woodpeckers! The forest floor was carpeted with violets, Virginia bluebells, trout lilies, Siberian squill, sharp-lobed hepatica and more.

A gentle stream rambles through a surprising steep ravine at Reed-Turner Woodlands.
A gentle stream rambles through a surprising steep ravine.

Awestruck by the Ravine

Exploring the ravine and walking along the stream at Reed-Turner took us to another world! We savored a peaceful walk down into the ravine treated by the gentle flow of the stream. We discovered a pair of ducks along the bank.

Wandering the ravine at Reed-Turner Woodlands in Long Grove, Illinois
Wandering the ravine at Reed-Turner Woodlands.

Reed-Turner includes about 50 acres of nature to explore. The flora and fauna at Reed-Turner truly delighted us and we were impressed by all of the work volunteers have contributed to making the preserve such a treasure. We look forward to future adventures at Reed-Turner looking for birds, flowers and more!

Beautiful violets add some vibrance to Reed-Turner.
Beautiful violets add some vibrance to Reed-Turner.


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