Hoover Meadows Nature Preserve in Galena

The northernmost Hoover Reservoir Nature Preserve is Hoover Meadows.  Hoover Meadows is just south of Galena.  This nature preserve is the one most in need of a trail map saying “You are here.”

Tom and I pulled into the small parking lot which had one other car.  We did see one other couple as we were walking around, but weren’t sure if they were coming from the car or from the housing development.  Because there are no trail maps, at all, we just start out walking and see where we end up.  Most of the nature preserves are small with trails of less than a mile.

Trail around the left side of the pond

Not so Hoover Meadows.  We followed the trail along a large pond.  We expected the trail to follow the shore of the pond because there had been another trail that turned off to follow the other shore.  But when we followed the first trail into the woods we found it ended abruptly at the edge of a farmer’s field.  We turned around and went back.

When we got back to the start of the pond, we took the other trail.  This trail curled along the pond for while, then crossed a meadow and followed the edge of a housing development.  We ended up back along the farmer’s field, sure that we would hit the end of the first trail.  But after getting to the end of the trail, and following several deer paths in the woods, it was clear that we had to return the way we came.  With the two out and backs, the walk ended up being close to three miles.  It would be nice if they would join the two trails to form a loop.  At the very least they need a trail map for unsuspecting walkers like us.

An oddly placed picnic table
Marshy pond

Hoover Meadows was beautiful and we enjoyed our walk very much.  We saw lots of birds and water fowl.  I wish I was a better birder because I could have quite the life list by now.  The trail is only a few miles from our house so we will probably hike it again in the spring.  I’m sure it will have some pretty wildflowers.