Naperville Journals

Cross Country Ski Spots near I-88 in Suburban Chicago

Best of IgoUgo

A January 2011 trip to Naperville by travelswithkids

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve Photo, Wheaton, Illinois More Photos
Quote: These are a few of my favorite spots to go cross country skiing (or winter hiking). They're mostly within a couple miles of I-88 in west suburban Chicago. These are all great spots to get some fresh air and exercise during the Illinois winter.

Morton Arboretum

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Attraction | "Morton Arboretum on Chrstmas Day"

Morton Arboretum Photo, Chicago, Illinois
Quote:
Christmas afternoon. You've opened the presents, put batteries in the new electronic gizmos, been to church and back, and had dinner. What next? This year, my family decided to try something new and headed over to Morton Arboretum for some time in the snow. Admission is free on Christmas, or $11 other days of the year.Morton Arboretum is a huge nature preserve just west of Chicago, right off of I-88. Encompassing over 1600 acres, it showcases a variety of ecosystems, from woodlands of various types (oaks, buckeyes, conifers,...), to prairies and wetlands, to more formal gardens. If you're feeling lazy, there's a seven mile road loop that will let you catch a glimpse of the trees here, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 5, 2011

Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lilse, Illinois 60532
+1 630 968 0074

Nelson Lake Marsh Nature Preserve

Attraction | "Nelson Lake Ski Trails"

Nelson Lake Marsh Nature Preserve Photo, Batavia, Illinois
Quote:
Nelson Lake is about 3 miles west of Batavia on Main Street. The main feature of skiing out here is the big loop around the 40-acre lake. This loop takes under an hour to complete and is around 3 miles. The trip takes you through some frozen marsh areas and runs alongside some woods on the west side of the lake. Also on the west side, the path connects up with trails running through the prairie section of the preserve. These trails make it easy to add 1, 2, or 3 miles to your skiing, so you can really make a day of it if you have the stamina. The wintry lake, wetland, and prairie landscape is very relaxing. I saw a few pheasants on a recent ski outing there. During the fall, Nelson...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 6, 2011

Nelson Lake Marsh Nature Preserve
Dick Young Forest Preserve
Batavia, Illinois

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve

Attraction | "Herrick Lake Ski Trails"

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve Photo, Wheaton, Illinois
Quote:
The Dupage county forest preserve of Herrick Lake is just north of I88, between Wheaton and Naperville. It's possibly the best place for cross country skiing in the area, with many miles of trails, mostly sheltered in the woods.It's trails cover a variety of terrains, from a short one mile loop around the lake, to the longer trail that will connect to the Danada Forest Preserve. It's easy to get in a 5 or 6 mile circuit without ever covering the same tracks twice. A lot of the trails are under cover of trees, so they keep the wind off you if it is really cold, and there are some modest hills to go up and down on the main trails. My favorite part is the long downward slope through the tre...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 6, 2011

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve
Naperville Road
Wheaton, Illinois

Big Woods Park

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Attraction | "Skiing Fermilab's Big Woods"

Big Woods Park Photo, Batavia, Illinois
Quote:
Fermilab is a big physics research lab between Batavia and Warrenville where they investigate fundamental properties of matter. You can visit Fermilab and learn a lot more about the science going on there, but that isn't what this review is about. The 10 square miles required to host its experiments also offers a couple great places for cross country skiing. One of the favorites is the Big Woods, a nice little forest just north of Fermilab's main high-rise building, Wilson Hall.The loop through the woods is really just a quick 20 minute ski (not really suitable for skating-style at all). But it is a really pleasant, relaxing trail among the trees. There are two trail entrances: one nea...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 6, 2011

Big Woods Park

Batavia, Illinois $zip

Red Oak Nature Center

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Attraction

Red Oak Nature Center Photo, Batavia, Illinois
Quote:
Red Oak Nature Center is a nature preserve with a prime location in the woods along the Fox River. This park is a relatively narrow strip along the river banks with some nice scenic overlooks above the icy river and other places where the trails runs right along the river bank. When you arrive, you'll probably be greeted by the sight of fat squirrels scampering in the tree branches. Watch for cardinals and listen for woodpeckers hammering away among the trees. For skiing (or hiking) trails here, there are two types. The first is the relatively narrow trails winding up and down the hills through the maple trees where they do maple sugaring demonstrations in early spring. The second typ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 5, 2011

Red Oak Nature Center
2343 South River Street
Batavia, Illinois
(630) 897-1808

About the Writer

travelswithkids

travelswithkids
chicago, Illinois