There’s a state park not too far from Chicago with unusual springs. No matter how cold it gets, these springs continue to send out water that is warm enough to keep the watercress green year-round. This I had to see.
With several days of double digit negatives and a heavy snowfall the week before, it was a great opportunity to head to the Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area to put the spring to the test. About an hour and a half from Chicago, it was an easy drive with minimal traffic.
We parked next to a toboggan hill, steep enough that we could slide down in our snow pants. After some sliding fun, I got the kids moving on the path so we could keep warm. One issue I have with this park is that the trail signs make no sense. We couldn’t get a trail map as the ranger office was closed, but the large map at the trail head had trails clearly marked in a variety of colors.
Unfortunately, the trail markers we came across were in totally different colors than those on the map. No worries, we weren’t going to get seriously lost and a little exploration would be fun. We definitely took a few wrong turns before serendipitously (love that word) stumbling across the springs.
After a bit of springs viewing, we excitedly headed to the bait/snack shop, hoping to get some hot cocoa to go with our lunch. Alas, though the sign at the entry heralded it as open, the snack shop was, to our dismay, closed. Oh well, sandwiches and good chocolate awaited us back at the car.
But first, more sliding. Another half hour of fun was had before we got back in the car, passed out lunch, and headed home.
Video of Silver Springs
This was a cool find – not sure that we’ll return in more clement weather, as the springs were impressive mostly due to the snow and ice surround them, while the other attraction, the toboggan hill, would only be fun with plenty of snow.
Directions to Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area: