Isle a la Cache, used by French voyageurs to cache supplies and trade goods, is the only remaining bigger island on the Des Plaines River. All others have had their waterways filled with dirt and are built over.
The 101-acre forest preserve is part of the 2,400-acre Des Plaines River preservation system, and has been acquired over the last 30 years or so.
No visit would be complete without a visit to the Isle a la Cache Museum. It showcases history and artifacts of the 18th Century fur trade and the Potawatomi tribe. Plenty of things for all ages to learn and hands-on activities for kids of all ages.
Every June, the preserve is the site of the Island Rendezvous, celebrating the gathering of 18-century French fur trade at the end of the trading season. Activities include archery, old fashioned games, native crafts, a petting zoo, birds of prey program and the museum’s new turtle exhibit.
There are paved paths for walking and a short unpaved trail that takes in views of the river. Firepits sit by both the re-creation of a native longhouse and in the amphitheater.
For paddlers, a canoe/kayak launch (no launch pass required) is available on the Des Plaines River. Per preserve rules and common sense, everyone in a canoe or kayak must wear a personal flotation device at all times.
Interested in fishing at Isle a la Cache? People fish from the banks, wade, use canoes, and kayaks. Apparently the catch includes mostly catfish, carp, pike, and maybe bass, with some big fish reported.
Permits are available for geocaching at this preserve, though no caches (ironically enough) currently exist there that are easily accessible. There is one across Romeo Road, but we didn’t have time to check it out this trip.