Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

Chicago, IL: Volo Bog Loop

Join two easy loops through this peat-covered bog for a 3.3-mile hike that would make a botanist quake with envy.

Rating

The moving carpet of living vegetation floating atop Volo Bog’s 50-foot depths–Illinois’ only quaking bog–make it the most unique wetland in the area. This hike combines two loops for a 3.3-mile hike through an array of plant species from distinct communities along the bog’s five stages.   Begin by following the 0.5-mile Interpretative Trail boardwalk in a counterclockwise loop. The trail skirts winterberry holly, European buckthorn, ferns, poison sumac, and even carnivorous pitcher plants before reaching the bog’s open-water center and turning back toward the visitor’s center. The second loop follows the Tamarack View Trail for 2.8 miles around the edge of the bog. From the visitor’s center, it cruises through a white oak and box elder forest: Watch for songbirds flitting through the trees. A boardwalk section leads to an overlook (with a bench) that is a great place to stop before rolling over several small hills and rounding the north end of the bog. The trail passes a bird blind and beaver lodges before reentering the woods. A cluster of inviting benches sit under the shady stand of pine just a few hundred yards north of the visitor’s center. The second loop follows the Tamarak View Trail for 2.8 miles around the edge of the bog. From the visitor’s center, it cruises through a white oak and box elder forest: Watch for songbirds flitting through the trees. A boardwalk section leads to a bench-furnished overlook that is a great place to stop before rolling over several small hills and rounding the north end of the bog. The trail passes a bird blind and beaver lodges before reentering the woods. A cluster of inviting benches sit under the shady stand of pine just a few  hundred yards north of the visitor’s center. -Mapped by Ted Villaire

To Trailhead

Head north on I-90/I-94 to Belvidere Rd./IL 120 and follow it 13 miles west to IL 59. Turn right onto IL 59 for 1.5 miles and turn left onto Sullivan Lake Rd. Drive 1.4 miles and turn right onto Brandenberg Rd. Drive 0.4 mile to the visitor center's parking area and the trailhead.

Leave a Reply

W3 Total Cache is currently running in Pro version Development mode.