Day Two Hundred Six

Whoever Virgil Gilman is, He Has a Nice Trail Named After Him

I remembered reading something about the Virgil Gilman Trail last spring when we traveled to Aurora, Illinois, for a walk along the Fox River Trail on Day 124, but while walking today on this trail, I determined I must learn more about Mr. Gilman and the history of this trail.

After our walk, I could find little information on Virgil Gilman, but did learn that he was an original Fox Valley Park District board member that lent his name to a nature walk, an early rail-trail conversion. Over the years, the trail was extended from a short nature trail to a twelve-mile paved trail with a large pedestrian/bike bridge over Illinois Route 56 and continuing on to Sugar Grove.  I wanted to see and walk this bridge.

After studying the map briefly at home, we made the drive west (first stopping at the outlet mall in Aurora–our reason for being this far from home) and parked at the Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove. We headed east on the paved trail.  We walked through a beautiful dense forest and then along the mostly shaded walkway between Blackberry Creek and the Bliss Creek Golf Course.  We had a lovely quiet walk.

Virgil Gilman1Once past the golf course, I wondered if we were ever going to reach the bridge.  It was farther than I had estimated, but we rounded a bend and finally saw it.

IMG_0765-001I am fascinated by bridges and love travelling over and under them. I especially like pedestrian/bike bridges (or bridges with dedicated pedestrian lanes) where I can take my time and enjoy the view of the cars driving or the water flowing by below.  I appreciate the engineers that make the bridges structurally sound, but I love when the engineers design a unique bridge.  I just know I wouldn’t be good at either–especially the structural part.

Virgil Gilman2

We were grateful for the shady walk back to the car after full exposure to the midday sun on the bridge.  The forest seemed even prettier on the way back.

IMG_0770-001

One tree in particular stood out, and I have entered a picture of it in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece.  Check it out!

Good day, good walk!

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