A Little Time and a Keyboard: Admiring the West Branch DuPage River During a Hike at McDowell Grove in Naperville, Illinois

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Admiring the West Branch DuPage River During a Hike at McDowell Grove in Naperville, Illinois

 

Admiring the West Branch DuPage River During a Hike at McDowell Grove in Naperville, Illinois

Hiking through the Grasslands and Woodlands of McDowell Grove Forest Preserve

McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois holds 7-miles of trails winding through woodlands, along a river and through the grasslands. The preserve is quite expansive and provides many opportunities for nature adventures.

Golden maple trees lift the soul during fall at McDowell Grove.
Golden maple trees lift the soul during fall at McDowell Grove.

Immediately upon parking at McDowell Grove, we noted the sea of golden maples! Really such a magnificent find! We took some time in this stand of maples just to bask in the gold!

The grasslands of fall captivate with interesting browns and straws.
The grasslands of fall captivate with interesting browns and straws.

Soon, we embarked toward the grasslands. The grasslands were pretty quiet on our trek but we did enjoy seeing the dried grasses creating waves of browns. On the edge of the grasslands, we noted woodpeckers bopping from tree to tree.

Savoring Exploring the West Branch DuPage River

The golden autumn sun highlights the West Branch DuPage River at McDowell Grove.
The golden autumn sun highlights the West Branch DuPage River at McDowell Grove.

My favorite spots to explore are little perches along the West Branch DuPage River. To venture to the shore of the river, we descended little footpaths down a small ridge. There are a variety of dips down, so plenty of views to explore! The footpaths to the river are more rustic than the main trails but are manageable and will add to your exploration.

Autumn warmth lighting up the West Branch DuPage River.
Autumn warmth lighting up the West Branch DuPage River.

During this visit, we spied some ducks enjoying the autumn sun. On a previous visit, we spotted turtles along the river.


Gazing up at fall colors.
Gazing up at fall colors.

Trails at McDowell Grove are popular for hiking, biking, and horseriding. Trails connect to four other preserves. Fishing and picnicking also represent favorite activities within the preserve.

Our previous visit to McDowell Grove happened to be during the summer. So, we appreciated seeing the preserve in the fall just in time to bask in the golden glows of the maples! We visit Naperville pretty often, so this 


Admiring the West Branch DuPage River During a Hike at McDowell Grove in Naperville, Illinois


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