L.L.Bean of South Barrington Outing and Adventure Club Message Board › Favorite local places to enjoy the outdoors?

Favorite local places to enjoy the outdoors?

Michelle M.
user 39252892
Terrebonne, OR
Post #: 1
I thought this might be a great first discussion; Where do you like to go around here to enjoy the outdoors?

Personally, one of my all time favorite places is actually Fermilab, in Batavia. Fermilab is the home of the Tevatron, Illinois' very own particle accelerator. The particle accelerator and the physicists studying there are amazing in and of themselves, but one of the greatest things about the lab is the dedication to the local land and heritage of the prairies that used to cover Illinois!

Fermilab has hundreds of acres they are returning back to their natural order, as quoted on the webpage, "The goals of this project are to; conserve natural resources, develop financially practical land management techniques and to encourage community involvement and human development."

They have volunteer opportunities of cleanup and restoration, and offer their paved paths for cyclists, hikers, and rollerbladers to enjoy. You can fish three of the ponds located on the property, and even kayak and canoe two of the ponds, as well!

Amongst all the wildlife on the property, which includes deer, small mammals, and birds, are also bison! Yup, thats right! Bison! They are part of the Fermilab program to recognize the history and prairie heritage of Illinois, and you can view them directly from the main road on most days. Last year I remember a small calf, so its good to see the bison herd is growing.

I feel that I glossed over the birding opportunities too quickly, as well, and should expound upon the opportunities that the property creates for many migratory bird species. "Fermilab is considered unique among the research parks because the site contains most of the major types of ecosystems representative of the midwest. These include tall grass prairie, oak savanna, agricultural fields, woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands." Because of this, the birding is incredible! I have seen owls, hawks, different kinds of ducks, geese, and I am always most proud of my Black Crowned Night Heron sightings! They have a wonderful birding journal they post online as well....found at:

Fermilab Bird Diary

So......whats your favorite local outdoor spot?
Michelle M.
user 39252892
Terrebonne, OR
Post #: 2
Anybody out there? It doesn't have to be as detailed, I know I get a little passionate about Fermilab! Favorites?
user 40273172
Barrington, IL
Post #: 1
I like Deer Grove in Palatine(?) for walking, biking and crosscountry skiing. It's conveniently located and not usually very crowded. My dogs enjoy it too!
A former member
Post #: 1
There are several I like. The Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum come to mind first. Also the gardens at Ball Seed Company ( inventors of the Wave petunias and other flowers), and their adjacent prairie restoration. It won many landscape and ecological awards.

By Libertyville there is an excellent forest preserve and preserved wetlands that is very popular for hikes, biking, as well as special events in their first class visitors center. It's called Independence Grove. Here is the url: http://www.lcfpd.org/...­

There's also a forest preserve on Route 12 by Fox Lake that was recently renovated, it has a canoe launch. I can't remember the name but would like to check it out.
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