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Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve by Melissa Cannell

Entrances at 5360 Mulford Road and at 5801 Perryville Road, Cherry Valley, IL

Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve is a special place that can be enjoyed by everyone, and with almost 630 acres of land, that may very well be possible! Blackhawk Springs is a popular preserve for nature lovers, families, hikers, joggers, and bikers with amenities for large gatherings and play as well. The preserve has 7.5 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails, and a scenic, paved recreation path. Walking the trails here will lead you to an exploration of flower filled prairie, cool shady woodlands, the glistening Kishwaukee River, and a lovely little bubbling natural spring.
Parking at the Mulford Road entrance is spacious, and has quite a few nice amenities like bathrooms, playgrounds, recreation fields, shelter house and picnic tables. From this parking lot is easy to see the paved recreation path, and also access to the dirt hiking trails. The two-mile paved path makes for a lovely nature stroll, bike, or jog through the woodlands and along the river.
Going straight into the preserve from the entrance on the paved recreation path you will quickly come up to a grass trail on your right, take this path to see the curious little natural spring at the bottom of the hill. If you only want a short walk, go straight on the trail, after enjoying the liveliness of the spring, to loop back up to the recreation path. To entertain your senses further take the grass trail to the right after the spring for the grand loop. On this loop you will walk with the river flowing next to you, a beautiful view of many vegetation, birds, and wetland species that live on this pristine river. Acres of waving Queen Anne’s lace welcome you out of the woodlands and into the warm prairie sun at the northern portion of the grand loop. And to finish, enjoy a refreshing dip back into the forest to cool down after your hike through Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve.