Between an enormous airport and shopping center – O’Hare International and Woodfield Mall, respectively – sits an equally enormous oasis of green and blue in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.
Ned Brown Preserve, known as Busse Woods or Busse Lake to locals, is a several-thousand acre forest preserve with woods, meadows, lakes, streams, even a herd of elk. Several types of water craft are available for rental as are picnic shelters for large groups.
Although hundreds of people visit the preserve on even a slow day and the place is surrounded by the airport, mall, and several major expressways, it is so large that it does offer the feeling of getting away from it all.
I visited the lake with my kayak one evening this week and was surprised again at how much wildlife can be seen. The preserve is worth a visit – but expect a crowd if you go at peak times on weekend afternoons.