Smile Politely

This spooky tree at Sangamon River Forest Preserve has seen some things

A tall twisted tree with bare branches, in a clearing surround by green trees and bushes.
Julie McClure

Sunday was the perfect fall day for a little hike: Slightly overcast, a chill in the air, leaves just starting to turn. My husband and I ventured out to Sangamon River Forest Preserve, just north of Mahomet. This preserve isn’t quite as flashy as some of other preserves, like Lake of the Woods, Homer Lake, and Middle Fork River. But it’s pretty, and peaceful, and a good place to do some short hikes.

Apparently the Sangamon River preserve is known for it’s trees, including one of the largest ash trees in the state, the Lincoln Ash Tree. This tree is not that, but it was very striking to walk by, especially during Halloween season. It’s obviously haunted — with that twisted trunk and branches jutting out every which way.

Whether you’re looking for haunted trees or just some fall foliage this season, the various Champaign County forest preserves are a great place to start.

Sangamon Valley Forest Preserve District
2797 County Road 600 E
M-Su 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (5 p.m. after October 30th)

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