The Chicago Botanic Garden, with its 385 acres of landscaped gardens showcasing millions of plants and flowers, is one of the region’s most valued natural and cultural treasures, as well as one of its most important tourist attractions.
Explore a waterfall garden, uncover secret rooms within an English Walled Garden, traverse bridges spanning dazzling lakes, discover a Japanese Garden, and discover a garden with trains chugging across bridges and trestles at the Chicago Botanic Garden. There are 385 acres and 27 gardens of delight to discover at any time of the year. Seasonal festivals, rail and walking excursions, art exhibitions, and a variety of other opportunities for families to learn about the marvels of nature are all available.
Although admission to the Botanic Gardens is free, parking is not; thus, you should utilize public transportation or use the Forest Preserve trail system to get to the Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Garden has direct access to Skokie Lagoons to the south, as well as to the paved North Branch Trail to the northwest.
The North Branch Trail connects the various forest preserves and green areas that line the North Branch of the Chicago River from the northwest side of Chicago all the way to the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, where it is named after the North Branch of the Chicago River. Even though it’s rather level, the path is a fantastic area for a variety of activities such as walking, hiking, bicycling, and trail running. Caldwell Woods and Skokie Lagoons are connected by a 13-mile stretch of paved paths, with additional unpaved natural trails meandering through the forests and natural regions along the trail. The Skokie Lagoons Trail is a 4-mile asphalt loop that connects the North Branch Trail with the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is open year-round.
For many long-distance cyclists, the round-trip from Caldwell Woods to the Chicago Botanic Garden is a favorite stop along the journey.
Although there are a number of street crossings along the route as you go, the North Branch Trail is a pretty seamless way to put together a trip with just few pauses. In addition, you will be given a wonderful tour of the forest preserves along the river and the natural environment around it.
Located along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Skokie Lagoons, the North Branch Trail provides access to a variety of picnic areas, forest preserves, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Green Bay Trail connects the trail’s northern terminus to the Green Bay Trail, which extends into the North Suburbs and Lake County. Several locations, including Skokie Lagoons, Harms Woods, Bunker Hill, Caldwell Woods, and the Chicago Botanic Garden, provide bike rentals. Dogs are permitted on the path, but they must be kept on a leash at all times.
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