I woke up on Saturday and realized that, for the first time all semester, I didn’t have any papers to grade nor any workshops to plan. So The Mister and I decided to take advantage of the rare opportunity to take Old Route 66 to the Funks Grove Nature Center south of Bloomington. Funks Grove has the largest prairie woodland left in Illinois. We knew it was close-by but didn’t realize how close until we discovered that it is only about a 15 minute drive from our house. The nature center has several short trails that I think The Mister and I will explore as the seasons change.
It is amazing what you can find when you choose to drive the old roads instead of staying on the superhighways!
On the way to the Nature Center, we passed the Funks Grove Depot. Naturally, I made The Mister pull over so that I could take a photo of it.
And, across the street from the depot, is an old storefront that has been converted into an antiques store. Alas, we couldn’t tell if it was open or not. If we knew for sure that it was open, you can be sure we would have done some exploring in it!
The volunteer at the nature center suggested we take the Blue Trail because it was short, it went through a prairie preservation area and then through the woods.
Despite the fact that we visited just a few days before the calendar turned to Autumn, the trees in the woodlands were still quite green. I’m looking forward to going back after the leaves change color!
We were going to go on another short trail but the sky was starting to look ominous so we headed home. It was a good thing we did because torrential rain that flooded the streets within minutes began when we were halfway home.
What unexpected treasures have you found close to home?