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Hike to Buffalo viewing trail

Illinois is a home where buffaloes roam. Buffalo Viewing Trail has a track of 3.6 mile which is lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Elwood, Illinois that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. This trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible all year-round. Buffalo mesmerizes visitors from around the world. Encountering a large herd gives people a snapshot of a historic scene once common on the Great Plains. Almost about 4 miles of crushed limestone paths are present at Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve and there will be a significant expansion that will be started in November of 2017 that will re-route some of the existing trail, add a new loop by Lake-Cook Road, and extend the current trails all the way to Route 53. The presently crushed limestone trails are flat and with easy access made to fishing in the reservoir.  

Hiking on the Buffalo Viewing Trail:

The land bordering Buffalo Rock State Park was a surface coal mine, where coal was extracted from a narrow two-foot-thick seam. The mine closed in 1943, but by the 1980s, the abandoned site was still barren damaged land, littered with piles of shale, with acid run off pooling between the spoil heaps and into the Illinois River. If you prefer to get to the park on foot or on two wheels, the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trail is just across the road, so you could tie a visit to Buffalo State Park into a longer hike across Illinois. The park is only 298 acres, and the flat well-maintained trails make it an easy walk for less intrepid hikers and a good pick for runners. Several trails are wheelchair accessible. While the water strider, frog and catfish are entirely manmade mounds, the turtle and the snake incorporate the local landscape, with the snake curled around old silica mining pits. End of the park is a mix of woodland and sandstone outcrops, and where you’ll enjoy the shade of the oaks, and the many butterflies and dragonflies.

The picnic areas are shaded with large oak trees, and well-equipped with picnic tables and cooking grills. When we visited, it was a sunny day, and we could see groups grilling, with kids running around on the grass and playing softball on a baseball diamond. This would be a great park to come with a group of friends. 



Hike Hike
Photography Photography
Tourism Tourism


Child Friendly Child Friendly
Dog friendly Dog friendly
Picnic Area Picnic Area
Parking Parking

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