Hike a little trail and explore. 

DeKalb County Hiking.

Take the Wild DeKalb Bird and Critter Hiking Challenge

Not all challenges involve strenuous, physical labor or the strength of a ninja warrior. Some involve a leisurely hike, a keen eye, the proverbial patience of a saint, and a sharp mind for details. Yep, it’s the wild bird and critter spotting hiking challenge.

With just over 8 miles of scenic hiking trails weaving through the wooded areas of the park and 1,550 acres of rolling prairie and woodlands, Shabbona Lake State Park lends itself beautifully to the amateur(and better) critter spotter. A map of the hiking trails and areas of interest are available at the Main Office at the Camp Grounds or at the Outpost Camp Store.

With a unique mix of grass-covered meadows, upland mesic woods, bottomland woods, and a native, undisturbed fen, make Shabbona an ideal location for natural relaxation and some outdoor activity. You can see sedges, cattail, marsh marigolds, horsetail, skunk cabbage, turtlehead, iris, blue joint grass, and bulrushes. The critter inhabitants of these areas are ready to greet you, as well. Also, enjoy the areas of prairie restoration throughout the park which features prairie grasses such as Big Blue Stem and prairie flowers such as purple coneflower.

In addition, Shabbona Lake contains a 15-acre seasonal nesting area for migratory waterfowl such as Canvasback, redhead and pintail ducks and Canadian Geese. And, don’t forget those squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and deer. You can even enjoy an up close look at some of these waterfowl by silently paddling on kayaks, paddle boards or pontoons which are available for rental at Boondocks Supply.

After your hike, stop and get a drink, a meal, and a scoop of ice cream at Pokanoka’s Cafe. Eat outside where you can have the best scenic view of the lake and continue enjoying nature! 

DeKalb County also has 17 forest preserves along with The Riverbend Trail, The Dekalb Nature &  Sycamore bike trail, and The Grate Western Trial

Note: The DeKalb County Forest Preserve District offers a downloadable PDF Brochure with all the locations, and trails under their jurisdiction.  
So, bring your Hiking shoes and camera (or your phone) to record what you see with your sharp eye and get ready to snap a shot of those friends of Mother Nature that you may encounter in your Wild Dekalb Challenge.
HELP KEEP DEKALB COUNTY BEAUTIFUL.

WHENEVER YOU'RE OUT EXPLORING WE ASK THAT YOU PLEASE REMAIN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE AND PROPERLY DISCARD OF ALL YOUR DISPOSABLES.