Today I went on another short hike in the midwest: Orland Grasslands.
This area is literally across the street from where I grew up. Orland Grasslands had been a forest preserve for as long as I’ve been alive but a few years back became a restoration site. Volunteers and county employees have worked to restore this land to its original condition by eliminating invasive species (including some trees). What results is a 2 square mile plot of land featuring rolling hills, wild grass, and solitude in the middle of a suburban environment.
Buster Bluth (my dog) and I left the house at around 10am this morning. Buster is a very energetic wheaten terrier but he is not quite used to doing the normal length hikes on SummitAscents.com – so I thought we’d go as long as he seemed to be able to handle. We entered the gate on the east side of 104th avenue and began following the old farm road that has become a trail.
Buster took off right away, as I’ve come to expect from him. He is quite a little sparkplug and is a blast to hike with.
We pretty much had the whole trail to ourselves. I’ve often seen deer, coyotes, raccoons, and other common midwest mammals here but today – nothing.
Buster and I walked to the far eastern end of the old road/path, which is about a mile from the starting point. The hike was relatively flat with a few rolling hills, but nothing of much difficulty. I’m almost inclined to believe that this farm road was actually an old version of the present-day 175th street, based on how it lines up with that road.
We turned around and began to walk west towards our original entry-point. However, there is another little trail that is less road-y and more trail-y that goes north, towards 167th street. Buster and I took that to add to our mileage a little bit – but about .5 miles in, he began to look really tired, so I let him off the hook 🙂 I’m pretty sure this is the trail that ends at the signed parking lot on 167th street.
|time: 70 minutes||calories burned:maybe 500|
|distance:2.6 miles||calories consumed:0|
|elevation gain:minimal||water consumed:0|
|weather: 55 degrees and windy||driving directions|