This may have been my favorite 10,000 steps this summer so far! Blackwell is in Wheaton, IL just off of Butterfield Rd and Winfield. It was a gorgeous mid-80 degree day, and we packed a picnic lunch of wraps and berries to take with us.
After eating our lunch and running around a little bit with our nearly 3-year old, we decided it was time to try and climb the mountain. Mt Hoy is 836 feet above sea level and used to be a landfill. It has a gravel path running up one side that makes the climb a little easier, and an alternative steeper grass path on another side. The gravel path was not very stroller friendly, but we decided to try it anyway rather than carrying our 4 month old, and I carried the nearly 3 year old's stroller while he walked. It was slow going on the .5 mile climb, but we were in no rush. Our 3 year old collected rocks from the path to throw into the nearby bushes, and we zigzagged to get the stroller up the mountain. The view from the top was very nice, and it's also fenced off so we didn't need to worry about our 3 year old falling down the steeper sides.
After walking back down the mountain, we drove over to another area in order to get close to the entrance of a walking path. Horses are allowed on the path, and we had the joy of walking behind a pair for a short while. The riders got a kick out of our 3 year old pointing and yelling "cow!" Luckily they took a side path before he had to see them create any road apples, but we did come across a few piles later on and passed by them to the chorus of "ew! Smells!"
The trail we took goes past a few small ponds, an archery range (currently closed), and then into a nice wooded area. The path was gravel and well maintained, so a nice smooth ride for the strollers. It goes across a creek and continues north to another part of the preserve, I think I read that the trail totals were about 8 miles. We turned around after approximately 1.5 miles and headed back to the car.
All in all a beautiful place for a walk, and we will definitely come back for another try at a different trail and possibly future camping trips!