Day Two Hundred Sixty-three

Tomahawk Slough on a Half Day

My youngest son had his first half day of the new school year today. What better to mark the occasion than an afternoon hike with his mother! We drove to the biggest collection of interesting preserves in our area, The Palos-Sag Valley, near Palos Hills, Illinois.

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County has so many trails and activities in this area that they have split the area into four separate pdf maps on their website. Also, two of the District’s six nature centers are in this region.

The entire area is abundant with lakes, sloughs, and marshes. The Des Plaines River runs along the western edge, and the Calumet-Sag Canal runs through the middle of the hills, valleys, and forests of the preserves; there is something here for everyone!

We hiked on a route that I had mapped in advance around Tomahawk Slough, modified from a hike that I read about in 60 Hikes within 60 miles: Chicago by Ted Villaire. We started on the Green Trail, connected with the Orange Trail, switched to the Brown Trail, and connected back up with the Orange and Green to return to the car.

Miraculously enough, we did not get lost! The trails are well-marked and vary in width and make-up by color which helped us keep it all straight. I was pleased that my son seems to have a good sense of direction (I tested him a few times on our way back).

Tomahawk SloughAs we approached the car, we took a brief side trail to look at Bull Frog Lake and saw several bluebirds and early signs of fall.Tomahawk Slough 2Although my son’s had a really good start to this new school year, I think a half day off to walk outdoors at a beautiful quiet place was a nice respite for him.

I know I certainly enjoyed having him along.


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