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Posts Tagged ‘Fall colors’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I ventured South to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana (about 3 hours South of Chicago and about 1 hour West of Indianapolis.) A fellow hiker client has told me about Turkey Run and we wanted to see a new spot with fall leaves turning. Turkey Run turned out to be much more amazing than we expected! Similar to Starved Rock in topography, Turkey Run was formed by glacial movement many man thousands of years ago. The park now boosts a number of rigorous and moderate hikes through canyons, along streams in rock beds and along the forest and river.  I’m posted a few of the photos I took to share a bit of relaxing nature and whet your appetite for your own hike at Turkey Run State Park!

Turkey Run State Park Suspension Bridge. Photo by Sue Shekut

View of the trees reflected in the River as viewed from the Suspension Bridge. We later saw kayakers glide through the rider under the rocks!

Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Two kayakers slowly wound their way up the river as we watched.

Kayaking at Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Canyon hiking was wet and a feast for the eyes and camera lens!

Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Hiking along the wet rocks was a challenge! But even a small boy was able to handle the climb so we risked it and were able to stay dry!

Canyon at Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Hiking up these rocks is super slippery!  We saw one many go down and his arm ended up completely submerged!  The small pool of water he fell into ended up being pretty deep! Luckily we avoided the pool ourselves.

Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

See the hikers at the top of the climb! Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Trees reflected in pools of water! Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Fallen leaves reflect trees above in a pool at Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

Wooden stairs and ramps make hiking less slippery at Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

The geology and hiking is amazing at Turkey Run State Park. Photo by Sue Shekut.

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By Sue Shekut, LMT, ACSM PT, Certified Wellness Coach

There is still time to enjoy the fall colors and get a bit of healthy hiking in this fall. Throw on a few layers of clothes, a good pair of hiking shoes, a camel back for water and grab a few LARABARs and you are ready to hike Waterfall Glen in the Chicago area!

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Waterfal Glen

Waterfall Glen is one of the DuPage County Forest Preserves. It rings Argonne labs and offers hikers, bikers, fishermen (and women), horseback riders and picnickers a chance to get away from the sounds, smells and traffic in the city. Being in nature has a stress relieving effect and exercise is good for stress management as well.

According to researchers at Cornell University: “Our study finds that life’s stressful events appear not to cause as much psychological distress in children who live in high-nature conditions compared with children who live in low-nature conditions,” says Nancy Wells, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis in the New York State College of Human Ecology at Cornell. “And the protective impact of nearby nature is strongest for the most vulnerable children — those experiencing the highest levels of stressful life events.”

From the Waterfall Glen website:

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve has w glacier-formed ridges, ravines and potholes. The preserve is exceptional, because it contains features not found anywhere else in the county: The largest contiguous woodland block – over 700 acres — and a dolomite prairie, with rock very close to the surface and shallow soil, home to rare plants for the region.

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Fall Colors at Argonne/Waterfall Glen

Waterfall Glen’s many habitats — prairies, savannas, oak-maple woodlands and planted pine groves – and distinctive features make it a haven for a wide variety of plants and animals. Surveys by District ecologists have recorded more than 600 native plant species at the preserve, which includes 75 per cent of all the plants known to grow naturally in DuPage County. In addition, countless fish, amphibian, reptilian, and mammalian species can be found in the preserve, as well as more than 160 avian species, some year-round and some migrating.

Biking

Cyclists are invited to use any of the preserve’s eight-foot-wide multipurpose trails, although they are asked to stay toward the outside of the trails as a courtesy to other visitors. To prevent damage to sensitive natural areas, cycling on trails less than eight feet wide is prohibited.

Fishing

Several old quarries scattered throughout the preserve offer still fishing waters. All persons 16 and older (except legally disabled persons) are required to have in their possession a valid Illinois sport fishing license. All anglers must follow District and state regulations.

Horseback Riding

In addition to the main trail loop, Waterfall Glen offers trails suitable for horseback riding throughout the preserve. Visitors with trailers should park in the designated parking bays at the trailhead on Northgate Road.

Model Aircraft Area

A large open field in the southwest section of the preserve is a popular spot for local model aircraft enthusiasts. For more information on access to this area or use by qualified model aircraft clubs, contact Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248.

Picnicking

Visitors are welcome to spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic in the mowed grass areas at Waterfall Glen. Ground fires are not permitted, except in the fire ring at the trailhead area.

Trails

Waterfall Glen’s four marked trails range from 0.2 miles to 9.5 miles in length and meander through some of the preserve’s most scenic areas. The main trail is an eight-foot-wide crushed-limestone multipurpose trail. In addition, there are many unmarked mowed-grass trails and footpaths that dissect the preserve. Feel free to hike and explore these smaller, less-conspicuous paths, but remember that they often are not linked to the main trail nor are they shown on the preserve map.

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River at Waterfall Glen

To find out more about Waterfall Glen go to the DuPage Country Forest Preserve Website here.

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