Spring is finally here so lace up your boots and take a hike in one of Chicago’s hundreds of parks. You can explore the terrain of over 7,300 acres or take a leisurely walk around the grounds and explore nature. Chicago has everything to offer, from migrating birds to a vast number of marshes, riverbeds and the Shawnee cypress swamps. Don’t forget your binoculars so you can be on the lookout for one of the 300 species of birds that flock here every year. Fortunately, for us, Chicago is on the avian migratory route from New Orleans to northwest Canada, where over seven million birds travel each spring and fall.
Birds fly for thousands of miles to get a taste of the fruits and flowers offered on Chicago’s trees. The birds get their fill of fruits and flowers as they prepare for the mating season. The Woodpeckers and Hummingbirds enjoy the sweet nectar that is in great supply. Wildlife gardens are a great opportunity to view the nesting habits of these animals. Unfortunately, the dense foliage provides a need for constant squirrel control. If you do come in contact with an unwanted group of squirrels contact Chicago Squirrel Control. They are trained in the area.
The air is a buzz, literally, to the delight of our winged friends who can make an entire meal dining on these insects. The tropical birds are a natural at capturing all things tiny and know just which trees hold their favorite treats. Willow, Mulberry, and Oak trees are just a few of the selections to choose from. Ornamental cherry trees are an essential part of this food chain and have been present since 1893 when Chicago hosted the Columbian Exposition. Over 120 trees were replanted in 2013 on the grounds of The Phoenix Garden, which sits in Jackson Park.
Put your hiking shoes on to explore dozens of trails ranging from short trails to over ten miles. Encounter breathtaking views such as: vistas and waterfalls with a color scheme that looks like it has been hand painted. The terrain can range from smooth and sandy to rocky or wetlands, whatever you are in the mood for. If you are looking to stay more than one day, check out Starved Rock State Park, a backdrop of 18 canyons and a waterfall encompasses their camping facilities.
Children of all ages will enjoy the lush hammock offered by the many backpacking trails. From the densely populated to the dunes of the beach, there is a route to suit your needs. Spending time in the wilderness is not only exhilarating, but spending time away from all of those electronics can reset your internal clock. Whether you are a beginner or expert hiker, you cannot help but to be inspired by these islands of nature that have been dropped into the middle of suburban areas.