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Hike Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Entrance at 2715 S. Main Street, Rockford, IL. Admission fee (adults $6, students & seniors $3)
2.2 miles paved trail, 4 miles mowed and wood chipped trails

A luscious garden to walk upon, Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden has a variety of plants, trees, and bushes that give the garden and preserve its unparalleled beauty.   This is especially true in the summer when the plants are all in full bloom, and spring as trees are coming out if their dormancy and the flowers are finally revealing their petals. Klehm has many trails that showcase the different and diverse plant life of the gardens and preserve allowing for exploration of these plants. Some are paved and in the open while others paths are dirt and in wooded areas. In addition, there are picnic tables on the patio, and a friendly and informative staff at the visitor centre. The Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden is a wonderful place to spend the day either with family or for some quiet time alone.

The East Loop is one of the easiest trails to walk at the preserve. It has a paved road to walk on and is a very short, flat distance. The natural elements are a distance from the path on either side, with wooden and stone benches set along the sides. In this particular part of the forest preserve, beautiful maple trees can be seen. These maples are interesting because they are small, but host large, pointed leaves. Most of the trees along the trail have plaques on them informing you of what species they are. While different types of trees and flowers can be seen, there are pretty little glades interspersed among the trees with vibrant, green grass decorating the landscape. The Woodland Wildflower Trail is located on the East Loop. It provides a short, easy, walk through flat dirt trail crowded by foliage. When walking this particular trail, you feel immersed in nature. On this trail, Umbrella Magnolia trees can be seen. These amazing trees can grow up to 15 meters tall, and their giant petals size up to 15 to 25 centimeters in diameter. The Umbrella Magnolia is just one of many magnificent trees here.

The Pine Trail starts in the farther parts of the gardens and has many great sights to see even when the trees and plants are not in bloom. While walking along the trail there are altered conifers. Which display unusual characteristics in growth such as trees growing on their side instead of upright. Norway spruces line different parts of the trail and are covered with some lovely pine cones which are said to be the inspiration for weights in grandfather clocks in Germany. Along the way, there are European larches which are also conifers, but unlike other conifers, their leaves change color and drop in the autumn, a sight to see! Other thick oak trees lined up the trail as well, always breathtaking with their incredible heights, endless branches, and tough bark.

If gardens interest you as well go see one of the many gardens; hosta, peony, rhododendron and azalea, wildflower, grasses, pre-historic, and children’s gardens. You will be mesmerized by the array of wonderful colors, and different shapes and sizes of the plant life in these gardens.

Click here for a printable Klehm trail map.