Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rave (suburban) Runs - Mallard Lake

Today’s rave run is Mallard Lake.  (well, technically not today, because I only ran in my neighborhood this morning on account of the rain and my inability to get out of bed.)  But Mallard Lake is one of my favorite new suburban running spots.  Waffles is pretty fond of it too!
My thumb is frequently spotted at Mallard Lake
It’s right near Army Trail and Gary Ave in Bloomingdale.  My shitty i-phone pictures don’t actually do it justice.  There is a main loop that goes around the lake, that is maybe a little over a mile.  But, rather than a standard edition lake loop, it actually cuts through the lake with a series of islands and bridges.  I suppose it has something to do with creating awesome fishing spots, but I like to think it was just to make me happy.  Something about the little islands makes me feel like I am transported somewhere way more awesome than Dupage county (no offense, Dupage..) The loop isn’t very large, and running laps is awful for some people, so you can always make a loop and then hit one of the offshoots.  If you’re really ambitious (or just need to squeeze in a 10 miler) you can cut through a neighborhood and end up on another trail that is super remote (some kind of hawk preservation area, as if the hawks need  help.)  I also found a hidden single track trail off to the side of the lake.  I totally chickened out though, even with waffles as back up.  The last thing I need is to get lost in a preserve at sunset (and, for all I know, that phantom Meacham wildcat is still out there.)

I know people say to take the road less traveled, but sometimes those people end up dead.  Or at very least, they get ticks.
There is also a giant hill to the side of the lake.  Sadly it is fenced off, and it turns out it used to be a garbage dump.  The runner in me wants to find a way to run up that hill (it’s really like a garbage mountain though – seriously guys.) but the anxiety-filled OCD germaphobe is concerned about what diseases might lie on top of mount garbage.  Although I went home, and was snooping on map my run, and someone has totally found a way over the fence into mount garbage.  How are you doing it, bonerko???

So, Mallard Lake:

Water fountain
Permanent bathroom structure (still just an outhouse though…)
Super awesome scenery
Plentiful garbage cans (when running with canine companion)
Lots of variety
Not a lot of shade when it’s sunny (the one time I dragged Matt there it was hot and sunny, and he vowed never to go back)
Some sidetrails lead to nowhere and is slightly annoying
Cannot run up garbage mountain!!! (yet….)
Lots of ducks and cranes (only a problem if you run with an easily distracted poorly trained hunting dog.  Waffles….)

How brave are you when it comes to hidden single track trails – should I have just gone for it??  Do you snoop on Map my run and steal borrow people’s routes (or am I a creepster?)


  1. Go for the garbage hill!

    I will try any trail I see... and instead of snooping on mapmyrun, I just look at google maps for the area I am in and see what I can find in the terrain. This lead me on a crazy (fun) adventure by my house last year that involved crossing two streams.

    I love this series and hearing about your exploring your new hood! :)

  2. holy crap that's gorgeous!!! perfect for waffles, it seems!

  3. Waffles, good luck in catching those ducks and cranes! Gingerfoxxx: Good luck in the half this weekend.

  4. That's a beautiful place you found! Looks to be a nice peaceful place compared to the shitshow that is the lakefront :)

  5. This looks like another beautiful place to run! I always make my online maps private because I am afraid that someone will figure out where I live because so many of my routes go straight from my house. I do look up routes made by other people though. :-)

  6. Garbage hill sounds like such a trashy time!

    I wonder how all these places you are venturing hold up in the winter with snow?

    Glad you are finding fun places!
    Go for it if you have GPS signal and water!

  7. I have 12 to complete on MOnday, it is to be hot, originally I was going to do it on the Prairie Path..but after this, I realized there are two lakes nearby that are a mile around each, I can park and be super close to my car. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. This looks like a beautiful path! Glad to hear you're enjoying your new hood!

  9. Ever since my stupid experience of getting lost in the woods, I will now stick to the paved trails when running solo, and only go off-trail if I'm with someone who knows where they are going.

  10. Looks like an amazing discovery!!! I am loving reading about all of these new running destinations you are exploring!