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Hike Parklands Merwin Nature Preserve and lunch at Green Gables


Parklands Foundations Merwin Nature Preserve is a lovely hiking spot along the Mackinaw River. This area is described as the "Crown Jewel" of Parklands Foundation and they have put a great deal of effort into restoring the natural prairie. I believe that if we cross over the Mackinaw at some point we can hike about 4-5 miles so for around an hour and a half. Then we can head over to Lake Bloomington's Green Gables which is very well known for excellent hamburgers.

I have listed directions below but my phone number if anyone has any questions is[masked]-1596.
◦Take I-55 North to the Towanda exit.
◦At the top of the ramp turn left (North) on McLean County Highway 29.
◦Continue North approximately 2-1/2 miles until you reach the "T" intersection.
◦At the "T" intersection, turn right (East).
◦After crossing the Money Creek bridge, turn left (North) on Hwy. 29.
◦Continue North on Hwy. 29 for 3-1/2 miles until you come to the 4-way stop at the intersection of Hwy. 29 and Hwy. 8 (Lake Bloomington Road).
◦At the stop sign continue North on Hwy. 29.
◦While driving North, you will see the Merwin Nature Preserve prairie restoration area to your right.
◦The West Gate parking lot will be on your right immediately after you cross the Mackinaw River bridge.

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  • Diane S.

    MNP was very pretty and a nice hike- would love to go back in the fall!

    August 26, 2013

  • Brian

    Marie thanks for organizing the hike! Good to see everyone and meet some new people as well.

    August 25, 2013

  • Carol


    August 25, 2013

  • Steve

    A very nice hike!

    August 25, 2013

  • Diane S.

    Even though I was late I made good use of my time by cleaning up the garbage at the entry and doing my part b4 I met up with the group!

    August 25, 2013

  • Jana

    I went to put the parks address in mapquest and couldn't find one. I just used the city of Towanda, so I don't know how complicated its going to be to find the park from there. Hopefully we won't be late. (We're coming from Champaign)

    August 25, 2013

    • Jana

      My phone is[masked]

      August 25, 2013

  • Brian

    Hi Marie,

    What time will the hike be over? Brianna and Anari have to back to Peoria by 2:30.

    August 24, 2013

    • Marie

      Hi Brian, I think we will hike til noon at the latest. Parklands is lovely but not that big.

      August 25, 2013

  • Joanne

    Maybe... depending on the plans of friends from out of state. I love hiking at Merwin, Bloomington-Normal's "own," and just about only, patch of woodlands. :)

    August 15, 2013

  • eric v.

    looking forward to it

    August 3, 2013

  • Diane S.

    this is tentative but probably! Want to see this one...

    August 2, 2013

  • Tawnya C G.

    I would be interested in doing this event. I do minor hiking with my dog at this point and don't mind the long distances. I and more worried about having to carry "heavy equipment" Can anyone advise, Is that necessary? What would you suggest to bring on an event like this? Thank you.

    July 30, 2013

    • Marie

      Hi Tawna, you just need water and possibly a snack for this event. No heavy equipment required.

      July 31, 2013

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