Looking for a scenic place to snowshoe in the northern suburbs? Chances you won’t find many nicer that the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, which sits adjacent to the Des Plaines River Trail on the northern edge of Cook County. The garden opened just over 40 years ago and has become one of the top tourist destinations in the region, with 1 million visitors in 2013. The 385-acre property features 26 gardens and four natural areas on nine islands with six miles of waterfront.
What Makes It Great
Of course, in the winter, you won’t see quite the color or diversity that you would in other months. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see. Enjoy the fresh air and see how many plants are able to survive a Chicago winter.
You must bring your own snowshoes, but the REI in Northbrook does offer rentals, and in past years has even offered discounts to Chicago Botanic Garden members. There is no cost to snowshoe, but parking rates do apply. In past years, the gardens have even provided maps with suggested routes to get the most out of your trip.
Who is Going to Love It
Nature lovers who want to see the gardens from a different point of view. For first-time snowshoers, it’s a good place to get your feet wet and see what’s to discover. Plus you can always warm up inside and enjoy the food at the garden view café.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The gardens are located at 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe.