27 – Northridge and Big Rock Garden Parks

Even after several days of heavy rain, the series of trails leading out of Barkley Village can be relied upon to not to be flooded or muddy, and that is just one of the reasons I frequent there. My other reasons? I can easily get in a good six to eight mile hike without having to leave town. I get to visit two of my favorite parks, Northridge Park and Big Rock Gardens Park. Plus, I know where an early flowering currant is located along that trail. That was my goal today – to see if winter was close enough to being over for those lovely blooms to be out. Sure enough, yes!

Beautiful signs of Spring spied along the trail . . .

Beginning on the Railroad Trail, it was not long before I had switched to the Klipsun Trail and was climbing up and over Alabama Hill.

Steps along the Klipsun Trail

Those trails are popular bicycle routes, and a biker came flying out of the tunnel under Barkley Boulevard. Going so incredibly fast, he practically knocked me over as he mumbled apologies and flew past me on that narrow trail. (Note to self – spend less time daydreaming about the sweetness of early spring blossoms and more time paying attention to what might come barreling out of the tunnels up ahead!)

My next stop, the duck pond.

Me . . . at the duck pond along the Klipsun Trail

Then, on to the Loop Trail around Northridge Park.

Northridge Park Loop Trail . . .

After completing the loop around Northridge Park, and one short side trail, I backtracked along the Klipsun Trail until I came to the trail that leads through a forest preserve and on to the Big Rock Gardens Park.

Big Rock Garden Park . . .

Short trails meander through the park and around a display of 36 permanent art sculptures. Information about the sculptures is available here – http://www.cob.org/services/recreation/parks-trails/big-rock-garden-permanent-collection.aspx. After my tour of the park, I headed back through the woods, and following the Klipsun Trail back to the Railroad Trail, returned to my starting point.

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