Nature Spots Around Westmont | Americash Jewelry & Coin

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Discover the Most Nature-Focused Spots Around Westmont, IL

If you’re seeking a way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, these nature-focused spots around Westmont, Illinois, offer a place to soothe your body, mind, and spirit. The tranquility you’ll find in Westmont’s forest preserves and parks and along the community’s hiking trails complements the area’s natural beauty. Explore the following five nature-focused spots around Westmont.

Chicago Portage National Historic Site

Leaf-less trees by river
Image via Unsplash by ela108

Designated as one of only two National Historic Sites in Illinois, the Chicago Portage National Historic Site occupies the western end of the portage that connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River. At this site, you’ll find the Salt Creek Trail System. The trails, composed of both paved and unpaved sections, run parallel to the Des Plaines River, Salt Creek, and the Brookfield Zoo. Along the way, visitors can witness the remains of a glacial valley, moraine, and Salt Creek’s pool and riffle environment.

If you’re looking for a hiking and walking trail that’s friendly for strollers and wheelchairs, head to the Salt Creek Greenway Black Paved Loop north of the historic site. The pathway crosses the Des Plaines River through Cermak Woods and offers a pleasant path extending about 3.7 miles when you travel out and back.

Driving Directions: Access Chicago Portage National Historic Site from South Harlem Avenue, south of 47th Street, in Lyons. 

Operating Hours: Open one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset

Greene Valley Forest Preserve

Green woods with sun filtering through tall trees
Image via Unsplash by trevmepix

In Naperville, Greene Valley Forest Preserve covers approximately 1,300 acres and offers a spectacular 190-foot scenic overlook that opens up extraordinary bird’s-eye views of the Chicago skyline. With more than 540 diverse native plant species and more than 370 different types of native animals, Greene Valley Forest Preserve supports an eclectic plant and animal life ecosystem.

You can explore this ecosystem as you walk along the 12 miles of marked trails open to bicyclists, cross-country skiers, hikers, and horseback riders. If you want to view how the native landscape in DuPage County looked more than a century ago, travel to the savanna between Green Road and the DuPage River’s east branch or explore the oak woodland in the youth-group campground area.

Enjoy a picnic lunch amid the beauty of Greene Valley Forest Preserve. You’ll find dozens of picnic tables and grassy areas that can make ideal settings for a leisurely meal in nature.

Driving Directions: Access the preserve’s south parking lot from Greene Road, south of 79th Street. Greene Road will also connect with the parking lot for the north picnic area and the off-leash dog area north of 75th Street and south of Hobson Road. Thunderbird Youth Camp is accessible via 79th Street, approximately 500 feet west of Greene Road.

Operating Hours: Open sunrise to sunset

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve

Trees in woods obscured by shadows
Image via Unsplash by ugodly

Located in Downers Grove, Hidden Lake Forest Preserve offers more than 300 acres that make attractive places for fishing, picnicking, hiking, or relaxing. The preserve is home to two lakes, a river, trails, and picnic areas, including a new picnic shelter.

More than 2 miles of trails take visitors through Hidden Lake. Spectacular flora and fauna await discovery here. Bring your fishing gear to the 15-acre Round Meadow Lake or the 10-acre Eagle Lake. Both locations make ideal places to fish for bass, black bullhead, bluegill, carp, crappie, channel catfish, and green sunfish.

Driving Directions: Access the main entrance on the east side of Route 53 south of Butterfield Road.

Operating Hours: Open one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset

Illinois Prairie Path

Girl walking through vibrant nature path
Image via Unsplash by ladyfernphotos

Created in 1963, the Illinois Prairie Path is one of North America’s first successful rails-to-trails conversion projects. The 61-mile path once served as a right of way for the Chicago Aurora & Elgin electric railroad. According to the Illinois Prairie Path’s website, the railway carried commuters and freight between Chicago and its western suburbs along the Fox River from Elgin to Aurora. Today, the path stretches across Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties.

The crushed limestone surface of the trail makes it friendly for bike treads and sneakers alike. You can pick up the trail in Wheaton at Prairie Path Park. As you bike or walk along the Illinois Prairie Path, you’ll treat yourself to native prairie restoration areas, forest preserve trails that extend from the main path, and benches where you can rest and take in the sounds of bird songs. 

To help you navigate your way along the Illinois Prairie Path, consult the official trail map, which you can download from the Illinois Prairie Path’s website.

Parking Information: Public parking is available near the Path in all communities along the Main Stem of the Illinois Prairie Path. Check out all of the parking locations in the cities and villages along the trail.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

Small waterfall with greenery surrounding it
Image via Unsplash by leorivas

Blooming wildflowers, lush forest glades, and a dynamic waterfall are only some of the many natural features that await you at the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve. At more than 2,500 acres, the preserve is one of the most popular parcels of land in the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. The Rocky Glen waterfall and Sawmill Creek bluff overlook offer spectacular natural landscape features.

A 9-mile-loop trail around the preserve gives hikers and leisure walkers an engaging experience in any season. The well-maintained crushed gravel path that comprises the trail is easy to navigate, making it ideal for families with children.

Other seasonal activities you can take part in at the preserve include cross-country skiing and horseback riding. Mountain biking is also famous along the trail, so be on the lookout for bikers along the way.

Driving Directions: The main entrance to Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is on Northgate Road. From Interstate 55, take Cass Avenue approximately 500 feet south to Northgate Road. Turn right on Northgate Road and proceed 400 feet to the parking lot.

Operating Hours: Open one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset

Contact Americash Jewelry & Coin

With endless recreation opportunities near Westmont, you’re sure to find plenty of reasons to get outdoors and experience nature throughout the year. What did you think about our list? Let our staff at Americash Jewelry & Coin Buyers know by sending us a message. We’d love to hear more about some of your can’t-miss places to visit.

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