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Busse Woods

Mothers Hiking With Children In Busse Woods, Elk Grove VillageIt's known on official websites and documents as Ned Brown Forest Preserve. But ask the locals and you'll likely hear it referred to by a more familiar moniker: Busse Woods. Whatever you call it, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place for recreation and nature in Illinois than Elk Grove Township's popular stretch of the Cook County Forest Preserve system.

Busse Woods derives its name from the Busse Family, German immigrants who were instrumental in helping build Elk Grove into the bustling village it is today. The name also belongs to the Busse Forest Nature Preserve, a 440-acre woodland area in the northeast area of the forest preserve that's registered as a National Natural Landmark.

The Busse family is also responsible for bringing to the region a herd of elk from Montana in the early 20th Century. The herd is a famous attraction kept at the eastern edge of Busse Woods, where you can witness their horned majesty year-round.

Man Jogging Through Beautiful Nature In Busse Woods, Elk Grove, Il.

You'll find everything from regal trees to swampy marshlands scattered across the 3,700 acres of Busse Woods. Many trees native to Northern Illinois forests inhabit the preserve, including hickory, basswood, sugar maple and white oak - the Illinois state tree. Visit well-drained areas and you'll find an abundance of colorful spring wildflowers like trillium and bloodroot.

At the heart of Busse Woods is Busse Lake, 590 acres of quality fishing territory divided into three sections: the main lake, south pool and north pool. The lake was initially constructed in 1978 as a flood control reservoir for nearby Salt Creek. It still serves to protect buildings in suburban Schaumburg from floodwaters.

Activities In Busse Woods Including Fishing

Busse Lake opened for fishing in 1980 after being extensively stocked with game fish. Cast a line in the lake today and you might pull out largemouth bass, bluegill, northern pike, walleye and crappie, among others. If you're lucky, you might angle a photo-worthy catfish!

Shoreline of fishing lake in Busse Woods, Elk Grove Village, Il.Fish aren't the only wildlife hopping, crawling and wriggling around in Busse Woods: shallow water areas in the preserve provide ample breeding ground for many animals normally only viewable in a zoo. In addition to the aforementioned elk, look out for muskrats, beavers, ducks, geese, mink and even white-tailed deer. Don't forget your binoculars for the fall and spring migrations of waterfowl and shorebirds.

If taking in scenery on two wheels is your thing, hit the 11.2-mile paved bicycle trail that circles through the forest preserve. As for other vehicles, launching ramps are available on the lake for canoes, rowboats and sailboats and aquatic devices that use electric - not gas - motors. Watercraft is available for rental from the park district April to October.

Busse Woods is in an easy-to-reach expanse of Chicago's northwestern suburbs. You can enter into the preserve several different ways, including through Higgins Road, Route 72, and Arlington Heights road. If you're looking for that perfect location to get away from everyday pressures while capturing the splendor of American nature, you can do a lot worse than this beautiful gem of land not far from home.

Elk in Busse Woods, Elk Grove

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