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Visit Elgin, Illinois

Discover things to do on an Elgin, Illinois, getaway

Bowdon Explores Fall

Bowdon Explores Fall

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Hi! My name is Bowdon.

I had so much fun exploring all the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells of the Elgin area this past summer that I’m back again for more adventures this fall! I had a very busy summer; I trained hard with my mom, and together, we passed my Canine Good Citizen test on the first try! Now that I’m officially a Canine Good Citizen, I can decide where I’d like to go to help people: hospitals, libraries, schools, or nursing homes?!? There are so many choices, and each one takes specialized training; we haven’t made a decision quite yet, but I can’t wait to start my therapy dog work soon. Plus, I will get to hang out with Mom at her therapy practice!

I love visiting the Elgin area with Mom; we get to taste new things, smell new smells, and meet so many wonderful people! With the falling leaves and the cooling weather, we are having so much fun exploring new trails and getting cozy with all the fun that autumn brings. You can follow along with all my adventures on Instagram @exploreelgin & @bowdonarrow.

Bowdon Explores Hawthorne Hill Nature Center

On a chilly autumn day, Mom and I visited Hawthorne Hill Nature Center to practice some training, see the beautiful sights, and have some Halloween fun! While I couldn’t go inside the Nature Center, there was so much to see and do that was dog-friendly outside. The trails glowed with gorgeous fall colors and scenery, and it was easy for Mom because there were multiple pet waste stations along the trails. With two ponds and wide wood-chipped trails, I excitedly explored all the natural sights and smells. Mom stopped along the way to learn about the plants and animals at the Nature Center, and we learned that the Center served the Girl Scouts for thirty four years before the city of Elgin purchased the land to preserve it for future generations–like me! And if that wasn’t enough fun, I got to model my Halloween costume; I’m dressing up as a snail this year (cuz Mom says I take life on my own time :)), and I was the perfect woodland snail on the logs of the Nature Center!

Bowdon Explores Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve

I had so many new and exciting experiences when Mom and I explored Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve in South Elgin!  It was sunny and warm as the leaves fell gently all around us, and I got to cross my first bridge and play in my first waterfall! This forest preserve has it all for both people and puppies! There were historic sites, the Fox River shorelines, woodlands, bird watching, hiking, biking, boating, fishing…so many fun things to do! At first, the bridge was a little scary for me, but Mom helped me to learn how much fun crossing a bridge can be! And then, I got really muddy in the creek near the waterfall! I splashed and splashed in the creek as the waterfall rained down over me. Mom said it was like being in a picture-perfect autumn postcard. I said it was the most fun day ever!

Bowdon Explores Elder + Oat

On a beautiful autumn Saturday morning, Mom and I stopped in West Dundee for some delicious treats! Elder and Oat Cafe was pup-friendly, and I got to scarf down a special treat–a pup cup of whipped cream! And Mom got the yummiest chai tea with a scone and some monkey bread. There was even a bowl of fresh water for me around the back. Mom said that in this cafe everything is made with love for the body, soul, and Mother Earth! Elder + Oat Cafe loves serving the community and was created by three firefighters and their wives! Once we picked up our food and drink, we took a walk around the friendly neighborhood with so many pretty flowers and shops. I can’t wait to go back and visit my friends at Elder + Oat again!

Bowdon Explores Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve

For my last fall adventure, Mom and I visited Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve on a day without a single cloud in the sky; the wind was blowing through the autumn prairie, and we hiked and hiked for almost 3.88 miles! Mom and I also stopped to learn about the Preserve’s cool history. George Muirhead and his wife, Mary, bought the prairie land in 1860 for just $8 an acre and turned it into a dairy farm for six generations. Then, the Forest Preserve purchased the land in 2003 and returned it back to a prairie once again. The “springs” in its name comes from the underground water that bubbles up to the surface of the ground. There were so many interesting facts to learn about the Elgin area and the land, and the long walk made me very sleepy for the car ride home. It was an awesome fall adventure to get my puppy energy out!

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