Day Three Hundred Twenty-eight

Stairs and Heading in the Opposite Direction

This afternoon, after raking up leaves for the final pick-up of the season, we drove to Swallow Cliff Woods of the Cook County Forest Preserve. We have visited this preserve in Palos Park, Illinois, before but planned a different route in the Sag Valley Trail System today.

We started our planned walk, a counter-clockwise loop, by climbing the 125 limestone stairs constructed in 1930 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. I did slightly better on this demanding climb today than the last time we were here (and I mean very slightly better). When we got to the top, however, a woman was having trouble controlling her large dog and was sort of blocking the trail. With my youngest son’s struggles with dogs (one of his autism “things”), we ended up turning right around and going down the stairs to walk our route in the opposite, clockwise direction. So, we ended up doing those stairs for nothing–except our health! (Our daughter, who rode along with us today, actually did the stairs the entire time we walked. Yikes.)

We headed out on the Yellow Trail and under LaGrange Avenue. We took the Purple Trail cut and looped back under LaGrange and towards the top of the stairs. The two mile hike was mostly through hilly forest and was lovely. Even though it was cooler than average, the sun was bright, and it was a great day for a walk!

Swallow Cliff Woods EastOf note:

  • We passed far too many ash trees, victims of the emerald ash borer, marked for removal.
  • We passed two horseback riders and saw numerous bike tracks. No wonder there were so many posted signs about right of way on this wonderful multi-use trail.
  • We ended up passing the lady with the dog, by then thankfully under control, as we neared the top of that stairway. We couldn’t help but wonder what she was doing that whole time . . .  

Great walk!


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