52 Hike Challenge – Hike 13 – Greene Valley Forest Preserve

Hike 13 of my 52 hikes was another DuPage County Forest Preserve, this time at Greene Valley Oak Spur trail (1.7 miles out and back). It was especially important for me to get out for this hike on Saturday, May 14th because it was Hike Like a Girl weekend!

Unfortunately the weather for this hike was a mess. It was overcast, very windy and the wind chill was 31! I had packed for 70 degree weather (I was just visiting the area), so I put on a bunch of layers, made a makeshift hat and hiked at a brisk pace. I didn’t see much wildlife on this hike, I think due to the weather, although I did see quite a few birds. I was once again surprised by the very rich variety of birds in this park.

This trail is extremely close to roads, so there is a ton of traffic noise. This was pretty disappointing and it never got much quieter throughout the hike. I like quiet/nature noise when I hike, but the close proximity to roads/homes on this trail may be comforting to new hikers or those who worry about getting lost in the woods. However, the trail is very clearly marked with yellow blazes, and is a wide gravel covered path that’s hard to miss. The path weaves through open spaces and woods and is very pretty this time of year with wildflowers and flowering bushes full of blooms, and trees very lush and spring green.

After my hike I drove to the Scenic Overlook, a point on top of a retired landfill at an elevation of 880′. From this Overlook Point you can see DuPage County and the Chicago skyline far in the distance. I learned that methane given off by the landfill is used to power homes around the landfill. Cool!

Frankly, after a cold flat hike in gross weather I was happy to head home (with my favorite Chicagoland food – Portillo’s), but I was happy I got out and got moving, especially for Hike Like a Girl Weekend! Greene Valley has many more trails that I would love to try out, so I suspect this will be a repeat for me when I’m back in the area.

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