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Visit Elgin, Illinois

Discover things to do on an Elgin, Illinois, getaway

Getting Back to Nature in the Elgin Area

Getting Back to Nature in Elgin

By Jenna King


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Want a simple way to reduce anxiety and stress? Try taking a walk around Elgin. Scientists agree: Just 20 minutes of contact with nature will lower stress hormone levels and help you relax. And there’s no shortage of green spaces in here, making it easy for you to get some exercise, fresh air, and back to nature in Elgin.

Bluff Spring Fen


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You’ll find miles of trails at Bluff Spring Fen. Explore a mix of wetlands, ponds, woodlands, along with a wide range of plants and flowers. And as the snow melts, signs of spring will begin to appear. You might even spot a deer or fawn while you’re wandering the trails. Keep your distance and show Mother Nature the respect she’s due. 

Pratt’s Castle

A mini-moat and drawbridge surround this castle. What was once a museum, is now privately owned, but it’s worth taking a walk to Cedar Avenue just to gaze at the 50-foot tower with a view of the Fox River.  

Fox River Bike Trails

The Fox River Bike Trails boast more than 40 miles of walking, hiking, biking, and fun!  Pedal alongside the scenic river and historic railroad lines. The trails connect several communities in Illinois, offering something new to explore at every turn. If you don’t feel like walking, hop in a canoe for a guided tour. 

Check out the Bison

You don’t have to drive to Yellowstone National Park to view bison. We have bison right here in Elgin at the Lords Park Zoo. They are on display along with elk, and deer year-round at the zoo.

Hawthorne Hill Nature Center

Hawthorne Hill Nature Center is 67 acres of green space to explore. The entire family will have a blast taking part in the various nature-based activities. Take walks, explore ponds and trails. You’ll discover a host of flowers and birds while you’re out on nature walks. Take advantage of the pond to teach small children how to fish. 

Connect With Nature Under a Waterfall

“Peaceful” is the term used to describe an unnamed waterfall located under a bridge on Route 31 in South Elgin. A hidden gem, the secluded waterfall is becoming a popular spot to not only take pictures to post on Instagram, but to connect with nature. 

 

Tyler Creek Forest Preserve

Located in Kane County, the Tyler Creek Forest Preserve in Elgin is a combination of hiking and biking trails. Discover rare plants or spring wildflowers as you’re walking or pedaling. And after working up a sweat, enjoy a picnic lunch on the preserve.

 

Butterfly Garden


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Tranquility and butterflies abound at the NENA Butterfly Garden in Elgin. The North East Neighborhood Association (NENA) was formed to preserve nature in the neighborhood. The butterfly garden sits on the corner of Ann and Douglas. You’ll find Chicago area native plants at the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden just an hour’s drive from Elgin.

 

Sometimes a breath of fresh air is all we need to recharge — and being out in nature is rejuvenating for the mind, body, and soul. So, get outdoors and soak in the sunlight and natural beauty surrounding us in this community.

 

Jenna King is a writer, avid hiker, and self-proclaimed survivalist. She spends most of her time backpacking and using organic elements within nature.

 

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