Places to Get Outdoors in McLean County | VisitBN
Warmer temperatures and sunny skies are back in the Bloomington-Normal area! It’s time to put on those light jackets and get back outdoors to hike, walk, or bike the trails of McLean County.
Here are a few places we recommend in the Bloomington-Normal area if you’re looking to hit the trails and enjoy the sunshine:
There’s no better trail to hike in BN than the Constitution Trail. The 45+ mile, multi-use trail has been a Bloomington-Normal staple since 1989. Much of the trail follows the old Illinois Central Gulf Railroad right-of-way through the community. You can discover so much of our communities by traveling the Constitution Trail! Whether you bike, walk, or jog, the trail is adventure, discovery, and fun all in one. No matter what branch you take, you will find unique history, parks, vibrant communities, and a place to rest.
Just a few miles north of Bloomington-Normal, Comlara Park is a large, nature recreation area that’s perfect for biking, hiking, and picnicking. There are more than 10 scenic trails throughout Comlara Park that surrounds Evergreen Lake. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more difficult terrain, Comlara has a trail for every type of hiker.
Merwin Nature Preserve
Located only 2 miles east of Lake Bloomington is Merwin Nature Preserve. With over 700 acres of diverse native habitats and scenic bluffs, the Merwin Preserve is a noted hotspot for hikers, birdwatchers, plant enthusiasts, and researchers alike. Enjoy over 5 miles of hiking trails and a 2 mile stretch of riverfront. For those who are looking to float down the Mackinaw River, Merwin also has a canoe access point.
This nature area stretches 1,687-acres along with its 158-acre lake. The 0.5-mile Tanglewood Self-Guiding Nature Trail winds around the lake in a wooded area. Tall Timber Trail, a 1.5-mile backpack and hiking trail over moderate terrain, also provides sites for primitive camping along its course. The Timber Point Handicapped Trail is a 0.5-mile long opportunity for visitors with disabilities to enjoy the pleasures of the woods, as well. It’s beautiful, convenient and accessible locale for relaxation and recreation.
Sugar Grove Nature Center
Sugar Grove is located in beautiful, historic Funks Grove among over 1,000 acres of forest and prairie. Funks Grove is the largest remaining intact prairie grove in the state of Illinois and is a designated National Natural Landmark. Their 5 miles of hiking trails is the perfect place to unwind, unplug, and discover the beauty around you.
For more information on nature areas around BN, click here!