Up a Lazy River:
Ryerson Woods

It’s Friday, December 8, 2017, I have another day off (more about this in a minute) and the weather is again amazing, so we decide to venture somewhat further afield to the Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area in Riverwoods, Illinois.

About all of the Fridays I have off – I’ve been at one of the places where I work for over 22 years. Thus, the number of vacation days that I receive each year is quite high. As often happens, I reach the end of the year and, since I can only get paid for five unused days, I start taking Fridays and some Mondays off in order to get down to that magic number. That’s it. Back to business.

Upon arriving at the Ryerson parking lot, I was somewhat surprised that there were only a couple of cars but also, somewhat selfishly, happy since this meant that we’d have the trails to ourselves. Before heading out on the trails, we made a pit stop at the welcome center which is a lovely Platinum LEED-certified building.

As has been our habit in these blogs, please visit the following web page to learn more about Ryerson.

Just in case you missed it, Captain Daniel Wright (of the Wright Woods blog a little while ago), owned property in the preserve at one time. Also, one of the can’t miss spots on the main trail that we hiked is the Ryerson cabin. You’ll see it in the video below. It’s kind of my dream for a tiny house by the river! Also, before our visit, I had no idea that much of the land is dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve, nor that the area is also a Historic District. While just my opinion, it certainly qualifies for both.

There are over 6.5 miles of trails at Ryerson and, since we wanted to go on a longer hike, we decided to take the trail that runs along the edge of the area. Here’s a link to the fancy (digital) Lake County Ryerson trail map.

While the interior of Ryerson is densely wooded, the trail along the edge of the area runs along the Des Plaines River and the river serves as one of the boundaries for Ryerson. Here are a couple of pictures. Pretty, huh?

Ryerson - Des Plaines River

One of the things that I particularly enjoyed about Ryerson was the wooden walkways. As you may have noticed, I used one of these pictures for the featured picture for this blog and it also serves as the thumbnail for the Ryerson video (it’s coming up!). The wooded areas were also beautiful and we can’t wait to return to see everything when it’s green!

Ryerson Wooden Walkway

And, here’s the video of our Ryerson trail tracing. Please take a few minutes to join us.

There really aren’t enough superlatives for Ryerson. As noted above, we can’t wait to return when everything is green. And, while I hate to play favorites, Ryerson is, at least for me, my favorite trail tracing spot so far.

Go to Ryerson and please tell the folks at the welcome center that Trail Tracing sent you!

find a trail ~ find your path

~Trail Tracing

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