Hickory Creek Revisited…..

Since my running was non-existent this summer, I didn’t spend much time at Hickory Creek like I normally would.  During an injury free normal summer, I’d cruise those hills of the West Branch a couple times a month and then by fall be running them as if the area were flat.  Not the case this year.  Here is the map of the West Branch.

image It’s a very easy trail to follow.  Just stay on the main trail, which is paved.  There is only one spot where you have a choice and it won’t look like much of a choice.  You can continue on the trail, or take a side shoot into a subdivision, which can take you to the East Branch.  Stay on the trail.

Full Hickory Creek Preserve Map:

image

I must say, this week, those hills felt like mountains!  For those new to the area, the Hickory Creek Junction also connects directly to Old Plank Trail.  It is in Will County and the West Branch has 2 entrances with parking.  One entrance is on Lincoln Highway (Route 30) just west of Wolf Road and the second is on Schoolhouse Road, just north of Route 30.  This trail is in the Frankfort/New Lenox, IL area.  If you run the trail both ways from trailhead to trailhead, it will be approximately 5.6 miles (2.8 miles each way).  Nice run, beautiful scenery, 2 bridges, plus bathrooms and water at each end.

I was a bit surprised this week that the fall colors are starting to pop.  Here are a few photos to show the colors and the falling leaves.   (I have taken a billion lot of photos of this area in the past, if interested, search the blog for Hickory Creek for more info & photos). 

Hickory Creek4_10-1-12

Hickory Creek2_10-1-12

Hickory Creek_bridge_10-1-12

Hickory Creek_10-1-12

Hickory Creek3_10-1-12

Beautiful run!   Pop over to your favorite trail this weekend and you too may notice a lot of changes as we transition from summer to fall!  And if you pick Hickory Creek, maybe I’ll see you there!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

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One thought on “Hickory Creek Revisited…..

  1. Nicely done Amanda! Awesome reviews you have done recently about running trail systems. Kudos to you! We need more trails and to promote them by these reviews does a lot of good.

    I do know if you start the HC-trail at the Hickory Junction Access far N-shelter where the restroom is and you run it N and W to Schoolhouse Rd access and around the parking lot island and back, you will have run 5.62-miles….USTAF certified! I know cause I measured it!

    And you may be familiar with the Turtle 10 course, but wow, looking at the extended trail systems to the East and back to OPRT, I think a marathon course could readily be accommodated by that entire system taking advantage of the LaPorte Road and Environmental Learning Center trails. Have to play around with that on Google Earth.

    Keep it up with these kinds of posts cause runners….both newbie and experienced need to be aware of the opportunities they have to run and train….and at the same time get a bit of nature in the mix! Hickory Creek definitely a place to go and I suspect these woods and turf and trails are “adopted turf” of FN’ runners!

    Awesome preserve and if you run those sections through the woods W of Wolf Road from the LaPorte Road access…there is some notable terrain to challenge you and wow you with nature at the same time. I know that turf well cause I worked oh-so many years with Forest Preserve and was responsible for the natural areas management and involved a lot with its planning for development and recreation.

    And if you are happy with what you discover out there….make sure you send some kudos to the Forest Preserve District of Will County, as well as the Villages of Frankfort , Mokena and New Lenox. All have been working together to create that comprehensive system that exists today….and hopefully more in the future!

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