The area surrounding Warrenville boasts plenty of open spaces and natural landscapes. If you want to experience a day in nature, you can’t go wrong by exploring one of many places close to home.
Let Crème de la Crème of Warrenville get you started when you’re looking for nature-filled experiences. We’ve put together this list of some of the best parks, preserves, and more in our area.
A top destination for Warrenville locals and tourists alike, Cantigny Park offers the perfect solution when you’re searching for an escape into nature without traveling far. The park spans 500 acres, boasting a unique history as the former grounds and home for Joseph Medill and Robert R. McCormick, his grandson.
There’s something for every member of the family to enjoy at Cantigny Park. From the golf course to the museum dedicated to McCormick’s life, this park makes it easy to plan a fun day that keeps everyone happy. Kids will enjoy taking a break on the playground, while the whole family can enjoy the hiking trails situated in the park.
Cantigny Park also offers early childhood programs designed to offer young children fun ways to explore nature. Popular classes for children aged 18 to 36 months, 3 to 5 years, and 4 to 6 years offer discovery, play, art, and more.
Of course, the immaculate gardens are the main highlight here. You can find a range of gorgeous flowers in bloom, making the park an inspiring place to visit whenever you want to reconnect with the natural world.
Danada Forest Preserve
“green trees near body of water during daytime” used with permission via Unsplash by huangjingrain
Wheaton’s Danada Forest Preserve offers another amazing escape to nature, right here in our own backyard. The 797-acre preserve offers various landscaped; prairies, wetlands, and woods along with the Danada Model Farm, Danada House, Danada Equestrian Center, and Parson’s Grove. With scenic rolling terrain and plenty of fishing spots, trails, and areas ideal for a picnic, this nearby preserve beckons whenever you want to enjoy nature with your family.
Danada Forest Preserve features a large wetland complex on the west side of Naperville Road. The area is home to a range of amazing creatures, including chorus and leopard frogs, painted turtles, woodcocks, egrets, and blue herons nesting in a rookery.
You can also head over to the preserve’s north side, where you’ll find a 35-acre restored prairie. Every summer, the area fills with asters, big bluestem, goldenrods, western sunflower, and prairie dock. The setting then attracts wildlife like ground squirrels, deer, coyotes, voles, and weasels, not to mention American goldfinches, grasshopper sparrows, and bobolinks.
That’s still not all the nature you can expect with a visit to Danada Forest Preserve. The southeast corner is where you’ll find Parson’s Grove, an open woodland. Spring brings a breathtaking array of native wildflowers here. Take the kids to see the wild geraniums, shooting stars, trout lilies, bloodroot, trillium, and toothwort. You’re sure to want to come back time and time again to check out the changing nature at Danada Forest Preserve.
Located close to home in Naperville, McDowell Grove Forest Preserve is yet another example of all that nature that surrounds Warrenville. This 465-acre preserve is known for its fishing and wildlife-viewing opportunities. The area attracts waterfowl and shorebirds such as great blue herons and egrets as well as Cooper’s hawks and eastern bluebirds, making it a must-visit spot for birdwatchers and wildlife lovers.
Go for a family hike on the trails, which stretch for nearly 7 miles, or reserve a picnic shelter for a laid-back meal in nature. If you stop by here during the autumn months, you’re in for a treat thanks to the breathtaking show the maples deliver as they change colors.
McDowell Grove features open fields, mature woodlands, and a floodplain forest. It’s also home to a 3-mile stretch of restored West Branch DuPage River, offering an improved natural habitat for aquatic wildlife as it flows naturally through the grove.
If you’re not already convinced about the abundant nature surrounding Warrenville, just add the Morton Arboretum to your list of local places to explore. You’ll find this popular spot in nearby Lisle, so it’s incredibly easy to visit what many locals refer to as a living museum. With a mission of planting and protecting trees to create a greener future, the Morton Arboretum is sure to spark a love of the natural world in every member of your group.
Stretching more than 1,700 acres, the Morton Arboretum has something for everyone. Take part in a family-friendly event like origami in the garden, or treat your kiddos to a nature-inspired souvenir from the gift shop. Enjoy a guided experience, or explore the tree and plant collection and gardens and landscapes on your own.
The grounds include prairie, display containers, collections of beech, willow, and walnut, and so much more. Whether your kids want to learn more about trees or you’re just looking for a relaxing escape, you can’t go wrong by visiting the Morton Arboretum.
Warrenvillle Grove Forest Preserve, located right here in Warrenville, completes this list of great nature-filled experiences you can enjoy nearby. This 127-acre preserve has everything from trails to picnic areas to woodlands and more, all right on the shoreline of the West Branch DuPage River.
Warrenville Grove has been offering a welcome respite since 1923, and history goes hand-in-hand with natural beauty here. Look forward to rolling topography of floodplain and upland woodlands as well as natural fens and the river itself.
When it’s time to explore the upland woodlands, you can expect to find maple, oak, and walnut species. Some upland woodlands here are natural, while others are reforested. Likewise, some fens are natural while other need restoration. The delicate ecosystems contain rare vegetative species. You can also make use of picnic tables and grassy areas, fishing spots, a canoe launch, and a section of the West Branch DuPage River Trail connecting to Blackwell, St. James Farm, Herrick Lake, and Danada forest preserves.That wraps up Crème de la Crème of Warrenville’s list of five nature-filled experiences you just have to check out in our area. Did we skip your family’s go-to spot? Drop us a line so we can add any local natural wonder that we missed!