A Little Time and a Keyboard: Ravines, Carpets Fall Colors and Tranquility at Richard Young Forest Preserve in Yorkville, Illinois

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Ravines, Carpets Fall Colors and Tranquility at Richard Young Forest Preserve in Yorkville, Illinois

Ravines,  Carpets Fall Colors and Tranquility at Richard Young Forest Preserve in Yorkville, Illinois

Richard Young Forest Preserve in Yorkville, Illinois welcomed us to a magnificent nature haven full of creek meanders, breathtaking ravines, fall leaves gracefully dropping leaves, mysterious fungus and more. We visited this spectacular preserve for the first time this past weekend and quickly learned that it would become one of our favorites in the region.

Walking through the late fall grassland at Richard Young Forest Preserve.
Walking through the late fall grassland at Richard Young Forest Preserve.

When we first arrived, we were unsure of the treasures the preserve would unfold. We began our hike within a grassland area that is probably abuzz with butterflies and bees during warmer months. Soon, we entered the woodlands. At first, most of the trees seemed a bit barren. However, we quickly found ourselves enamored with trees with golden leaves populating the forest.

Amber leaves delighted us on our hike.
Amber leaves delighted us on our hike.

The trails at Richard Young were soft with the cover of a rainbow of fall leaves. Freshly fallen leaves still sported brilliant yellows. I love the feel of fresh leaves under my feet and spying pillowy piles all around. A coziness seems to pop up from the leaves.

Discovering Meadering Lyon Creek

Lyon Creek meanders through Richard Young Forest Preserve creating spectacular views.
Lyon Creek meanders through Richard Young Forest Preserve creating spectacular views.

Lyon Creek curves through the preserve creating some truly fantastic creek and ravine views! We paused in awe in quite a few spots to admire the ravines. Spectacular! In a few spots, we admired the creek as it gently bubbled with a few leaves scattered within.

A gentle stairwell leads down to the base of the ravine at Richard Young Forest Preserve.
A gentle stairwell leads down to the base of the ravine at Richard Young Forest Preserve.

Several viewpoints presented incredible creek and ravine views. Stairs helped us descend into the ravine. We were pretty impressed with these elements within the preserve.

Lyon Creek trickles through a forest full of newly fallen leaves.
Lyon Creek trickles through a forest full of newly fallen leaves.

While hiking, it was hard to keep at a good pace because we just had to keep taking in the magnificent views of Lyon Creek. Richard Young Forest Preserve really invites hikers to slow down and discover natural wonders all around.

Peeking at the Treasures the Late Forest Reveals

As fall yields to winter. we love to discover the bones of the forest including the unique shapes of the trees, patterns of fungus, moss and lichens, unique rocks and so many more things we would have possibly passed by during a hike full of dense greenery in the summer. 

Fungus and leaves create an interesting forest floor scene.
Fungus and leaves create an interesting forest floor scene.

We noted all sorts of designs crafted by fungus and lichens on our hike. Black walnuts and osage oranges littered the ground. As the leaves fade, more of these treasures will be revealed!

After our visit to Richard Young Forest Preserve, we will definitely be adding the preserve to our more regular rotation of forest preserves. The preserve and accompanying Lyon Forest Preserve welcome hikers to 177 acres and over 2.88 miles of trails. So, the preserve presents an opportunity for many unique nature adventures to come!

Richard Young Forest Preserve is part of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District and offers these additional amenities:

  • Nature kiosks throughout provide more details about the preserve.
  • Adjacent forest preserve Lyon Forest Preserve offers additional, connecting trails.
  • A picnic pavilion and restrooms are on site.
  • Richard Young Forest Preserve has a fire ring.
  • Many of the footpaths are ADA accessible.
Ravines,  Carpets Fall Colors and Tranquility at Richard Young Forest Preserve in Yorkville, Illinois


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