Busse Woods: Elk in the ‘Burbs

Busse Woods is part of the Cook County Forest Preserve and covers about 3,700 acres on a stretch of land near the intersections of Higgins and Golf Road in Elk Grove Village.  Although I have only covered about two or so miles of it on our adventures, I have been in awe of not just its beauty, but also it cleanliness, popularity with walkers/runners/rollerbladers, and its awesome residents:  the elk!


Yes, that’s right, there are beautiful elk that will come right up to you (if you’re lucky…having a smelly dog makes them curious so I always seem to be in luck).  I must admit that the first time we came upon this enormous yet graceful creatures, I was slightly terrified that they would crash through the simple fence dividing us and have Rylie for a snack.  But thankfully, they are pretty chilled out and are probably just on the lookout for snacks, even though there are signs everywhere that tell you not to feed them.


If your kiddos get a little spooked by the elk like mine did at first, there are so many other sights to take in at Busse Woods.  We particularly enjoy standing on top of the bridge near the elk preserve and watching the cars go by.  And when it is garbage day in the area and there are lots of trucks that go by?  JACKPOT.  Another highlight is going into the “grassy plain” like area and examining the wildlife and natural plants that surround us.  My oldest LOVED seeing a garden snake cross our path….me, not so much.


If you use other entrances into the preserve, you will find areas for setting up picnics, bbqs, and full out parties.  During the summer there is always at least three family reunions with all of the fixins’…jump houses, soccer games, music in all sorts of different languages, flag football, you name it.  We have only packed some snacks and enjoyed a little picnic in the grassy areas a few times because Rylie keeps pulling us to explore more “sniffs” in the woods.


We are looking forward to taking more trips to Busse Woods this fall to watch the color changing and are ready to tackle some snowy fun this winter now that both of our little guys are great on their feet.  We are so lucky to have such a hidden gem just a five minute drive from us and we plan on enjoying it as much as we can.  Hope we run into you there one day soon…you will know us by this cute little face:


Cutest. Dog. Ever.

Looking for other ways to enjoy nature?  Simply search “outdoor fun” in the search box. Enjoy Exploring!

-Amanda 🙂
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  1. dogear6 says

    I’m a Chicago area native and worked across the street from Busse Woods for a long time (the Algonquin Road side). I loved going there with my lunch when I could and have done a fair amount of bike riding through there. I loved reading about your outing there!

    Does the Museum of Science and Industry still have the children’s area? That’s another great place to visit with little ones if they do. Don’t have high expectations though – until my daughter got too old for the children’s area, we spent very little time exploring the rest of the museum!

    And Brookfield Zoo is awesome. I lived near Butterfield Road, so it only took 20 minutes to get there. I had a yearly pass until my daughter started school.


    P.S. Thanks for subscribing to my 31 Days! Awesome!!

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