Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest By: Jeanette

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a great place that connects people of all ages with nature. We spent a day there this past weekend to check it out and still did not get everything explored. It costs only $5/carload on weekends and holidays or otherwise is free. We started at the Visitor Center – a site to see in itself having been built from recycled wood and has a living, green roof. The staff there was super friendly in providing a trail map and giving suggestions for what to see and do with two little ones in tow.

We headed off to the Tree Canopy. This is a very short hike (stroller friendly) that goes out 75ft above the forest floor. It was great view and I imagine even better once the leaves start changing. We also checked out the children’s play garden. It was an ‘old school’ playground made from wood with some slides, monkey bars, and swings. It also had a few unique features such as a rock garden, xylophone, and smell maze. Outhouses, picnic tables were around this area too. We then head to Lake Nevin as suggested by the staff because they were getting ready for a Connect event. We hiked the gravel trail around the lake. They had birdhouses of all styles up for the event. It was fun having our oldest son spot them out along the trail. We did a few more hikes in the area and tried our hand at Letterboxing but were unsuccessful at our first attempt, but fun nonetheless.

We had a great time and look forward to going back and exploring some more, but recommend taking a first aid kit with bee sting care in it. There were numerous bees and both my husband and I got stung. Fortunately the kids were safe.
Bernheim has a variety of events for all ages. Check out its program and events tab on its website for additional details. Next time we hope to check out the Education Center and maybe attend Polywog Play Party or the Scarecrow Jubilee.
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