On the Illinois Prairie Path
As I suspected, the closure of the Elgin Branch of the IPP at Wheaton Junction extended only for the small segment over the railway bridge. The City Fathers of Wheaton provided a well-marked detour around the area, which I had no difficulty in following, and I was soon once again walking northwest towards Elgin.
The trail passes through Lincoln Marsh and across Winfield Creek , as it heads out to Elgin. It was a cool and shady walk, with evidence of the impending arrival of autumn in the changing colors of the trees and the deciduous leaves underfoot.
The trailside fringe of trees and bushes make it easy to imagine that you are in the depths of the forest, and it is only when you come to a major road junction that the realization that you are still in suburban Chicago takes hold again.
The walking was easy and pleasant, past trailside green ponds and over Klein Creek to arrive at the junction with The Great Western Trail.
The Great Western Trail is another Rail-to-trail conversion that runs from Villa Park and joins the IPP here to hitch a ride to Elgin, from which it runs west all the way to Sycamore.
The path crosses under Route 64 and shortly after that, over Route 59, where side cages have been erected to prevent travelers from stoning the traffic passing underneath – or are they to deter the potential suicides?
At MM#8 it was time to turn around and, after a lunch break at Smith Road, I enjoyed a leisurely walk back to Wheaton and a good 16 mile round walk for the day.
Thought for the Day:
“No one bathes in the same river twice”
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