The Nitty Gritty: We went here on a Sunday morning when it was unseasonably warm. The admission is free and we only paid for the pancakes ($5 for a full stack which includes 4 pancakes, 2 turkey sausages, and choice of beverage). They have a small parking lot, but they did have an overflow parking area which shuttles back and forth. It's about a ten minute walk on the trails (great for a stroller, walking or running) to reach the log cabin area.
The fun: We've always wanted to see real maple tapping and we actually took advantage of the warm (70s) weather. I think everyone had the same thought because the line was crazy long. We probably waited for 45 min to an hour. Besides the line, they had stations explaining the maple tapping process. I was actually hoping to see real tapping of the trees.
Son's fav moment: Eating "hot"cakes
Parent's fav moment: Finally sitting down to eat pancakes
Bottom Line: I would come to this event again but much earlier to avoid the lines. I would also love to run on the trails.
Last year, our family went snowshoeing for the very first time. Our choice for our first wintery trek--scenic Spring Valley, of course!
We love walking through Spring Valley during the spring, summer, and fall--so why not winter as well!
Snowshoeing at Spring Valley was very easy. We rented our snowshoes for $4 a piece, watched a video to learn about how to use them effectively, put them on, and were off. We enjoyed a peaceful trek through the snow covered prairie landscape. We found a grove of trees and had fun walking through the snow kissed area.
Snowshoes are available at the Spring Valley Nature Center starting December 1. They are only available if there is at least 4 inches of snow on the ground. They can be rented from 9AM-3PM on a first come, first serve basis. They are due back by 4:30PM. You will need to leave your Driver's License to rent them. You will also need to fill out a waiver. The staff at Spring Valley is extremely friendly and will help you every step of the way.
You will be truly treated with a beautiful winter hike if you snowshoe at Spring Valley. Since Spring Valley is in Schaumburg, it affords a chance to get away from the craziness of life without going away too far.
No stop at Spring Valley would be complete without exploring the Nature Center. The Nature Center has some resident turtles that the kids are sure to want to visit!
Use the restroom at the Nature Center so you do not have to trek back in the middle of your hike.
Pack light but bring some water and some snacks.
Watch the video so that you know how to use your snowshoes. It will take some practice if you use the old school ones.
Remember sunscreen--yes, you can still burn in the winter.
If you would like to see our impressions from our trek last year, check here: http://twomomsalittletimeandakeyboard.blogspot.com/2012/01/snowshoeing-at-spring-valley-nature.html
Have been visiting this place with my kids for a few years now. We enjoy setting up classes for just us & another family or for a whole playgroup. We have enjoyed Maple syrup 2 years now and look foward to it this February again. They offer such neat classes. you really need to look into them if you live in the area.
A great place for a short or long hike. Walking/hiking the trail gives you a sense of what it might have been like a hundred years or more ago in that area. Great place for a family, a couple, or just yourself. If you are in Schaumburg and have the time this is a place you must visit and tell others about.