The Lincoln Park Natural Area is an urban oasis that is highly regarded for their recreational and educational opportunities for people of all ages. Despite the urban surroundings, this 150 acre area makes you feel like you’re deep in the wilderness, and far away from the concrete jungle. The park is composed of prairies, woodlands, savannahs, and open water marsh areas. The goal of the Lincoln Marsh Natural Area is to increase appreciation for the natural world, and you’re sure to come away from the park feeling just that!
Visitors and their pooches are welcome to explore the natural area along the two miles of trails, including the Limestone Trail, Boardwalk, or Woodchip Trail. The Illinois Prairie Path features two overlooks that will give you a birds eye view of the marsh below. Along these trails, you’ll find interpretive signs and park maps, so you can take in some knowledge while your pupper takes in the scents. If Fido needs to rest his paws, you can take a seat at one of the many benches along the paths made from fallen trees. There are excellent wildlife viewing opportunities here, so you may want to bring your binoculars! The trails are also open for snowshoeing in the winter.
There are plenty of other opportunities to play and learn in this park, including adventure and nature programs, and a high rope challenge course. There are shelter, picnic, and fire pit areas too, but visitors are asked to not disturb any programs in progress. Other amenities include restrooms open year round, and drinking fountains that are available seasonally.
Dogs are welcome to join on in the fun of course, as long as they stay leashed and picked up after at all times. This not only protects your pooch, but the plants and wildlife in the area. There are Mutt Mitts available at both of the trailheads, so all you need to bring is your playful pal! While the natural area is open from sunrise to sunset, the park office is only open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4-m.
With the seemingly endless amount of fun things to do in Lincoln Marsh Natural Area, it always gets visitors raving and tails wagging.