Family Weekender: Chicago
Silver Springs is the ideal place for a weekend of family paddling. The 1,300-acre park boasts two small lakes, and a 35-mile stretch of the Fox River runs through it, as well. Also a popular area for wildlife viewing, families may spot great blue herons, egrets and other colorful waterfowl.
Paddling south of the park, you'll find a quaint, old stone mill that has been converted into a bed & breakfast. Bits and pieces of the dam that once diverted water to the mill also remain.
Further downriver is Maramech Hill, an Indian massacre site. In between are small islands to explore, perfect for playing pirate! You'll also find sulphur springs, limestone cliffs (between Sheridan and Wedron), various caves and a 30-foot waterfall.
Inland, the park offers about six miles of short hiking trails, with a wide variety of plants, trees and woodland wildflowers. A one-mile trail takes visitors to a restored prairie.
Spring and fall are the most scenic times to visit Silver Springs.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication