The Springbrook Prairie Trail is a beautiful trail that welcomes dogs on-leash. This 5.5-mile trail takes you in a loop around the 1,650-acre Springbrook Prairie Nature Preserve and the 53-acre Springbrook Marsh Land and Water Reserve. Along the way, it passes tons of scenic areas that you and your dog will both love!
The trail begins next to Springbrook Prairie Nature Preserve’s main parking lot. Here, you’ll find restrooms and a picnic area. There’s also a water fountain you can use to fill your water bottle and your dog’s bowl before you head out on the trail.
As you walk along the first part of the paved, mostly flat trail, you’ll pass through a meadow filled with native prairie grass and wildflowers. There are also tons of birds that live in these fields, including meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows, woodcocks, bobolinks, northern harriers, and short-eared harriers. There isn’t much shade on this part of the hike, so be sure to give your pup plenty of water as you’re walking.
About three miles into the hike, you’ll reach the Springbrook Marsh Land and Water Reserve. This picturesque wetland area has some trees that provide a bit of shade. You’ll also pass by lovely ponds and brooks as you walk along this part of the trail. From April 15 to August 15, this reserve is a critical nesting habitat for many different species of birds, so be sure to keep your pup on the trail while you’re in this area.
After you go through the Springbrook Marsh Land Reserve, you’ll end up back at the Springbrook Prairie Preserve. You’ll walk through the prairie preserve for the last 0.5 miles of the hike, and then you’ll end up back at the parking lot and picnic area. Here, you can celebrate finishing your hike with lunch or a snack for you and your dog!
The Springbrook Prairie Trail is a pawesome trail that’s perfect to hike with dogs. Bring doggy bags with you on the trail, and have a great time trekking here!
There isn’t much shade on the trail, so make sure to give your dog plenty of water while you’re hiking. Between April 15th and August 15th, one portion of the trail is an important nesting site for the preserve’s birds. When you’re in this area, be sure to keep your dog on the trail. There are also no doggy bags available on the trail, so you’ll want to bring some with you.