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Friday, May 15, 2015

Kame in My Backyard?

While looking at Google maps the other day I noticed that nearby Glacial Park in Ringwood, Illinois had more than I thought it did.  I used to stop at the Prairie Trail parking lot on Harts Road after work when I commuted to Crystal Lake for running, and I thought that the "park" was just the open land to the west of the trail.

It turns out there is a visitor center and trail system, not to mention kames!  Crazy what you don't know about your own area.  I've lived less than fifteen minutes from this for over a decade.

The trailhead outside the visitor center (closed when I went on Sunday) doesn't look like much, but it climbs quickly up into a nice oak forest with an insane amount of Mayapples.

visitor center roof barely visible at upper right

The 2 mile Deerpath Trail climbs the hill gradually and at the top there is a bench that also offered views of some Prairie Smoke.

Just past the bench there is a spur that goes to the right that offers an option to climb the steep hill of the Camelback Glacial Kames.

Kame ahead!

I kept on going to see the panoramic view of the 3,200-acre site and the Nippersink Valley.

Camelback Glacial Kame

The view included Shooting Stars that covered the side of the kame.

After coming back down the kame I took the spur to the right again which circled around the bottom of the hill where I saw some new wildflowers.

Eventually the trail makes it way back up to the top and meets up with the original trail.  The path is wide and level, it probably gets a lot of use in the summer and for school trips but I had the place all to myself on Sunday afternoon.

I just packed up the car and am off to Point Beach for the next two days since Wayne is on double shifts again.  I'm hoping I'm not too late to beat the mosquito infestation that descends on the swales in that park and to knock off a section of the Ice Age Trail that runs through there.


  1. Always great to find a new special place so close to home!

  2. I think everyone tends to miss things close to home. Funny how we travel hours to see new things but forget those down the road or don't know about them. Good find! Love all the wildflowers:)