Rain, Rain Go Away but We'll Hike Anyway: Miami Woods

Just to the south of the Linne Woods (remember from a few weeks ago – If You Like Mud…?) is the Miami Woods. And, since I always enjoy a good water feature (the Miami Woods is another Cook County Forest Preserve property that surrounds the North Branch of the Chicago River), that was where we went for our trail tracing on November 12, 2017.

Did I mention that it was raining? Oh right, rain was in this post’s title. Well, it was raining. Not too heavy, but enough to preclude using the video camera. Well, to be honest, I do have a waterproof case for the GoPro but, for whatever reason, I decided not to video our hike today.

But I took some nice pictures. Here, take a look.

Miami Woods 1
Miami Woods 2

Note – The parking lot for the Miami Woods is a little tricky to find. My map app was telling me that I would find parking off of Oakton. Nope, entering the woods off of Oakton results in a nice drive through the woods but no parking near the trail we wanted to hike. The better choice, for trail access, is the parking lot entrance north of Oakton off of Caldwell.

We began our hike on part of the North Branch Trail. The North Branch Trail is a 33+ mile paved and unpaved trail running from the north side of Chicago (starting at the Irene C. Hernandez Picnic Grove on Foster Avenue) all the way north to the Skokie Lagoons (a/k/a the William N. Erickson Preserves) (a great place to explore in a canoe or kayak!).

As quickly as we could, we made our way to a trail (not marked on any map I’ve seen) that runs along the west side of the North Branch of the Chicago River. On our way to this path, we ran into an older gentleman walking his dog who let us know (without prompting!) how the woods had been ruined by the politicians and all of their Mickey Mouse business. To put it bluntly, he wasn’t a fan of the North Branch Trail bike path (but, he was using it to go for a walk with his dog!). Ah well.

We continued south for a bit and arrived at the southern edge of the Miami Woods where a large trail overpass crosses Oakton Street. It was at this point that we came upon our first deer of the day (it wasn’t the last!). There are many white-tailed deer in the Cook County Forest Preserves. Thus, I won’t bore you with a bunch of pictures of deer – just two.

Miami Woods Deer 2

We headed west, using the street bridge on Oakton to get to the east side of the North Branch of the Chicago River. As I mentioned earlier, I always enjoy a nice “water feature” during a hike. The sound of the water, the sight of the flowing water – Ahhhhh!

Miami Woods North Branch 1

We continued north along the North Branch of the Chicago River until we reached the northern edge of the Miami Woods at Dempster Street. At this point, we used the Oakton Street bridge to get to the west side of the North Branch of the Chicago River. We then discovered that there really wasn’t much of a non-paved trail heading south for walking. Thus, we made our way back to our car using the North Branch bike trail.

We’re looking forward to returning to the Miami Woods in the spring/early summer when, supposedly, the birding is great, and the flowers and foliage are “bursting” with color. But, as I hope you’ll agree, the colors were still pretty nice; even on a rainy day!

find a trail ~ find your path

~Trail Tracing

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