Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Water crossings and horse "gifts" to dodge.
The Rush Creek Conservation Area located in Harvard, IL., consists of two main hiking trails, and a perimeter loop around a small lake.
This trail is primary used by horseback riders. Though it is open to foot traffic as well, runners are seldom seen on this trail which is one of its highlights. Uncrowded, quiet, and private, it is a thoroughly enjoyable trek through typical Midwest prairie and woodlands. The terrain is mostly flat with gentle rises, however runners should be aware that being primarily a horse trail, it lacks bridges over Rush Creek which it crosses near the start and finish. In the spring and after heavy rains, this means either waterproof high top boots will be needed, or removing footwear and wading across will be required. At their highest the crossings average about ten inches deep and 15-20 feet wide, and in the dryer summer months four inches x 5-6 feet across. The pay-off is you'll have the nearly six miles essentially to yourself.
Even with lack of bridges and having to be conscious of the occasional "gifts" left by horses, this is a great trail to take a dog on. Just please always keep watch for riders and keep your pets under tight control around them out of courtesy and to prevent spooking the horses.
This trail won't appeal to casual runners out for a quick loop with the kids, but is ideal for those looking for a little solitude and some decent mileage.
There are no facilities or benches, or treated water on this course.
Shared By: Peter Gitta