Over the weekend, Matt and I drove to a forrest preserve 25 miles north of the city. Nature-y stuff surrounding Chicago can be pretty slim pickings so when we heard rumors of hiking trails and waterfalls just a short road trip away, we were more than eager to check it out. The forrest preserve is called Waterfall Glen. Doesn't that sounds dreamy? A whole glen of waterfalls! (Spoiler alert: Waterfall Glen is not, in fact, named for a beautiful glen of rushing falls flowing with cool waters and deep emerald pools. It's actually named after some dude, Seymour "Bud" Waterfall. At least, that's what a posted sign informed us just before we reached the "falls".)
It's a 6 mile hike to the waterfall and the trail winds through woods thick with oak trees and fields overgrown with wild flowers. It was a seriously, seriously lovely walk. We stopped along the way to explore and climb trees and rest near swampy ponds. Then we climbed down a steep rocky cliff to reach the riverbed and make our way towards the waterfall.
Ok, so the falls were really more like a dam. And the water collecting below was more wading pool than swimming hole. But it was just so beautiful. Our exhausted sweaty selves threw down a blanket by the riverbed, got to splashing, and were just as happy as if the falls had turned out to be fifty feet tall. We lovingly re-named the spot Tiny Dam Glen and decided that it might just be "our secret spot" for the summer.
Little adventures like these are my favorite, misleading monikers and all. We can't wait to go back with friends and spend the day relaxing on the river bank, playing in the water, and maybe do some fishing. (Full disclosure...I don't really "fish". But I will sit for hours with a line in the water and crack open a beer or two. That counts, right?) Do you have a favorite secret summertime spot? Where are you adventuring this season?