Why Goodenow Grove?
An off-the-beaten-path Will County nature preserve with low traffic and an assortment of activities on offer – multiple small hiking paths, a sledding hill (which amplifies the Fall Foliage views), a picnic pavilion and an enriching nature center for kids: the Plum Creek Nature Center.
We chose a rare 70+ degrees day in the month of November to check out the post-fall theatrics of nature (Nov 8, 2019).
How to Plan your visit?
• Hop in a car and set your GPS to the parking lot here.
• Pack the emergency hiking back-pack – I keep some water, packed food, sun-screen, bug-repellent, first-aid, analgesic, water-proof pouch for cellphone (a must have since I bricked my Pixel 2 in Everglades in this trip), sanitizer, soft tissues, towel and an extra battery juice pack. Having spare change clothing (for rainy days and impromptu aqua frolics) and extra layer (for wintry weather) in the car is strongly advised too.
• Check the official site here and plan your trip. It has several small hikes (a mile or less) and perfect suited for families with young kids. We did following hikes:
- Scout Trail (0.7 miles)
- Snapper Pond Trail (0.4 miles) – a one-of-a-kind Trash turned into art trail, check some of the exhibits in the photologue. Much recommended.
- Oak Ridge Trail (0.4 miles) – a diminutive detour from Scout Trail.
- Plum Creek Greenway Trail (3.5 miles) – we only did this partially as this is not a loop trail and we weren’t prepared to hike 7+ miles overall for this one.
You can check our recording here.
Here’s a map designating all trails (courtesy reconnectwithnature.org) –
There is a sledding hill too which offers some heart pumping activities when suited –
Scout Trail (0.7 mile) and Oak Ridge Trail (0.4 mile)
We ambled on to the Scout Trail after parking our cars in the parking lot adjoining the trail.
The crunching sound echoed as our troupe walked on the trail replete with dead leaves.
The leafless trees looked awe-inspiring in the sunbeam screened by the clouds.
We took a small loop trail called Oak Ridge Trail as a small detour on the Scout Trail.
Snapper Pond Trail (0.4 mile)
Thanks to the ‘Trash converted to art’ exhibit, this trail had plenty of unconventional props. The exhibit is due to expire on March 2021 so we were fortunate to catch a glimpse during our visit.
Plum Creek Greenway Trail (3+ miles one way)
We only did The Plum Creek Trail partially and turned back after touching High Point Trail.
The trio – leafless branches, fallen leaves and sunbeam blocked by clouds.
High Point Trail
High Point Trail was a small detour from Plum Creek Trail.
From what we saw, it was abundant with small peaks and valleys.
The Sledding Hill
The sledding hill besides the parking spot proved a perfect foil to get some energy out of the kids.
The adults tried to join in the action as well.
And gave up pretty soon..
That’s it! After some snacks and home-made tea, we packed into our cars and headed home for a pot-luck.
Interested in other Hiking options around Naperville? Please check other hiking locations here.
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