Volo Bog is an adventure waiting to happen. Bring the kids, bring a snack or meal to eat on the lawn, and then experience firsthand the only quaking bog in the State of Illinois and the making of fossil fuels in action.
On a lovely spring afternoon, I took my kids to Volo Bog to enjoy a picnic and explore the floating boardwalk that takes you to the bog. When we arrived, we parked in the large parking lot, then took our food to one of the many picnic tables located on the large lawn leading up to the three separate trails and Nature Center.
Bathrooms are located right by the parking lot, and a shaded picnic area is available, but with winter just a whisper behind us, we chose a sunny spot to enjoy our meal.
After dinner we headed over to the boardwalk. Keep your knees bent, and don’t let the kids run because it’s a floating boardwalk, swaying with each step it receives. Strollers are allowed on the boardwalk, but choose a dry day, as the boardwalk becomes slippery when wet. Volo Bog is a popular field trip site, so there are a few widened areas for classes to gather, while a teacher or volunteer talks about the bog and the animals and plants located in it.
Make sure you read the signs posted along the walkway, as they list the animals and plants to keep your eye out for, which makes the walk an exciting scavenger hunt. It’s exciting for the kids to scan the waters for muskrats, turtles and frogs (to list a few).
After completing the boardwalk, you can choose another nature walk to go on, making the day as long as you’d like, and creating more adventure and scavenger hunts for the native animals and plants.
After your walk, dont miss the the Nature Center, which is a great place to explore nature indoors and ask questions of the volunteers who treat this bog as if it is their own. If you visit on the weekend, volunteer docents lead one-hour tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
We look forward to going again and again, and hope to see a muskrat or say hello to the red-winged blackbirds that patrol their small territories. Volo Bog is open year round, and during winter months, trails are open to cross-country skiers. Mark your calendars for the Volo Bog Winterfest–which is great for families; see Little Lake County’s past Volo Bog Winterfest preview for details.
Have you been to the Volo Bog? What is your favorite adventure there?