Take a Hike: Morton Arboretum

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Morton Arboretum by Patricia Hayden

This month I visited the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. While there is so much to do and see, for this trip, I visited three different locations on the east side, all conveniently close to one another.

The entrance for the Morton Arboretum is on the east side of Route 53 at the traffic light for Park Avenue. After turning into the entrance, drive up to one of the open gatehouses. If you’re a member, show your membership card to the attendant. If you’re not a member, you must purchase your ticket online in advance and when you get to the arboretum, show the ticket to the attendant. Stay to your left to park in the main parking lot where there are a good number of handicapped spots.

From the main lot I walked toward the Visitor Center and veered to my left, keeping the Visitor Center on my left side as I followed the walkway and signs to Meadow Lake Trail (location #1) which is a .55 mile loop. As I walked counter-clockwise on the paved trail, I came to a sign for the main Conifer Walk (.45 miles), so I veered to the right, crossed the road, and began that trail (location #2) knowing it would loop me back to Meadow Lake. The Conifer Walk is also paved, has several winding turns and a bit of an incline. The conifers here (Cypress, Spruce, Pine, and many more) are absolutely beautiful and made me feel very tiny standing amongst them. There are educational signs along the walk (my favorite is “Conifers and Creativity”) and as promised, the Conifer Walk brought me back to the road to cross to get back on Meadow Lake Trail.

As I continued my walk on Meadow Lake Trail, I saw many flowers, shrubs, and trees – Purple coneflower, Butterfly weed, Prairie dropseed, Little Henry sweetspire, Sumacs, and Bluestars to name a few. I find Meadow Lake Trail to be very peaceful and in the fall it transforms into a scarecrow trail where you can see nearly 50 scarecrows handmade by local scout troops.

As I finished walking Meadow Lake Trail, I headed back on the walkway I came in on, this time keeping the Visitor Center on my right. At the fork in the walkway, I veered to the left and headed toward one of my favorite spots – the Groundcover Garden (location #3). Turning right at the designated sign, I started my walk on this short, paved loop. My favorites in this garden are the large variety of hostas and ferns. When I exited the Groundcover Garden, I turned left and made my way back to the main parking lot.

More information about the arboretum, including hours and ticket prices, can be found here.

We would love to hear your comments about this hike! Click here to go to our Facebook group post on this hike.

This post is part of the “Take a Hike” series by Patricia Hayden. To learn more about this blog and see information about all other featured hikes click here.