Pack a Picnic and Enjoy Nature at Nearby Parks

Man walking in nature

As the weather cools down, it will be a lot more comfortable to spend time outside. One of the perks of living at Brookdale on the Park is that it is less than a fifteen-minute drive away from several protected areas that are part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. Spending a few hours at one of these parks near our apartments in Naperville is a fantastic way to make a boring day more interesting and become one with nature.

McDowell Grove Forest Preserve

Just a five-minute drive from Brookdale on the Park, McDowell Grove is a 465 acre preserve that features seven miles of trails, two picnic shelters, and plenty of open space. Fishing can be done along the banks of Mud Lake and the West Branch DuPage River. If you happen to have a kayak, you’ll love paddling down the river. Bring binoculars for birdwatching.

Blackwell Forest Preserve

Just a few more minutes north you’ll find Blackwell Forest Preserve which is larger, has more activities, and is a favorite among locals. There are two ponds and a lake for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and even stand-up paddleboarding. (Note: due to enhanced safety measures, rentals are not available at Silver Lake but usually they offer kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats.) You can bring your own but if you access Silver Lake, you need a watercraft permit that costs $5 per day or $30 for a whole year. Additionally, Blackwell offers archery ranges. You will need to purchase a permit which can be done here. If you’re looking for even more adventure, spend the night at the campground which is open Friday and Saturday nights through September 30th this year.  In the winter, you can look forward to snow tubing on Mount Hoy.

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve

Just a few minutes east of Blackwell, the 887 acre Herrick Lake Forest Preserve is home to lots of wildlife and over 400 different types of plants. If you go fishing in the 22 acre Herrick Lake you’re likely to catch largemouth bass, catfish, carp, and more. You can hike, bike, or cross-country ski on seven miles of trails. 

Additional Information

Each park is open from an hour after sunrise until sunset every day. Dogs are welcome on leashes.  You have several options for lunch, as well as a Target where you can pick up sunscreen, bug spray, or snacks. Pick up sandwiches from Potbelly’s, a burrito from Chipotle, or a family meal from Corner Bakery. On your way home, grab some dinner to go from these great fried chicken spots.

If you’re looking for apartments in Naperville that are located close to the exciting city life in Chicago, but even closer to beautiful nature preserves, contact us to schedule a tour. 

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