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Nature’s Way: Busse Woods Is One of the Best Local Ways to Experience Nature

Nature’s Way: Busse Woods Is One of the Best Local Ways to Experience Nature

  |     |   Lifestyle

One of the largest forest preserves in Cook County, Busse Woods contains over 3500 acres of beautiful open spaces with trails, boating, lakes, rivers, and more. It is one of the best outdoor experiences surrounding Elk Grove Village and Willow Crossing. We wanted to highlight this gorgeous place and tell you a little bit about it.

There is a ton to explore here, making it a destination you will want to continue walking, running, biking, and paddling. Nature lovers will truly enjoy this wonderful place.

With fall fast approaching, this is a fantastic place to see fall colors in Illinois. The woods are changing, the grasses turn red and orange, and the wildlife is abundant. You could easily spend 3-4 hours exploring the vast amount that Busse Woods has to offer. One of the richest and most diverse areas, the Busse Nature preserve, is part of it, along with one of the best places for water activities, Busse lake.

Busse Woods is located between Elk Grove and Schaumburg. There are multiple parking areas, so visit the website or check out directions online. Cook County Forest Preserves manages the land. Restrooms are onsite. Enjoy the outdoor activities!

The Water

The lake was created in 1978 by dammed natural waterways. The lake covers about 460 acres and is open to the public. A great place to paddle, you’ll often see people out on the water. There are herons, coves, inlets, cattails, and cormorant birds, so keep an eye out. Rentals are available hourly. 


There is an extensive, mixed-use trail system with 7.3 main trail as the highlight. It winds through most of the preserve and is used frequently to hike, bike, run, and walk. Stay alert and stay safe! A trail map can be found at the forest preserve website above. There are elk inhabiting the area in an enclosed pasture on the east side. 

You can also fish the are in sections designated and stocked by the state. For a longer hike you can connect to Salt Creek.


Whatever your adventure in Busse Woods, be sure to wear protection from the sun and spend multiple days exploring the area. It will soon become a favorite spot for nature lovers!


Do you have any favorite experiences in Busse? Let us know in the comments!

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