Visiting the Asylum (Lake Preserve)


I’ve been doing a lot of hiking over the last however many years, visiting various local nature preserves and parks like our local Nature Center or Al Sabo. But one that I somehow never thought to visit was Asylum Lake preserve. It’s fairly large, has a nice big lake in it, and it’s full of cool wildlife. How have I not been here before?

Well, whatever the case, I finally visited, and took a bunch of pictures along the way. Follow along!

The walk begins with a trek across the prairie that’s just not very exciting, with grass about knee deep with a trail slightly mowed into it. The fun begins when you reach the treeline!

For the entire walk we were surrounded by chipmunks. Can you spot the critter here?

We encountered lots of different birds, including a woodpecker we saw briefly before it flew off. By the state of this tree trunk, it was busy.

Not entirely sure what was going on here. Someone trying to build a shelter? Or was it just some people having fun stacking up sticks and branches?

One of the only obvious man made structures we encountered. Lots of kids and dogs playing in the stream here.

One of the first good views of the lake from the trail. Was a beautiful day!

Swampy area near the main lake.

It was very green and I didn’t want to get too close for fear of mosquitos which were surprisingly a non-issue for this hike.

I’ve never been in an area where I’ve seen evidence of beavers living nearby before. I was fascinated, they really do gnaw down trees like in the cartoons.

More wildlife! Couple of what I believe to be rat snakes just enjoying the sun and nice weather.

Moving on and heading back we discovered another friend. This guy was a good 15 ft from the water and didn’t run very far from us.

There were these bowl shaped areas around a stretch of the lake along the edge. The sun was shining perfectly that you could occasionally see fish!

Again, not used to beavers being around and was amused that this was the way of protecting the trees.

I think it works.

Small island in the middle of the lake along with more fallen trees. Was the perfect day for a hike!

Give it a few weeks and half these trails will be full of tasty berries. They ran along a good half of the trail in small bunches.

Found another friend that hopped out of our way when we reached the top of a small hill. There was some movement in the leaves nearby when we approached so we might have scared off a possible snake.

I love the areas of the trail lined with wildflowers!

Lots of fallen trees along this stretch that were recently cut and cleared to the side. Possibly from the tornado that came through a couple of weeks ago.

Saw a couple of deer on the way back to the car. They also saw us, but weren’t bothered.

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