Family fun in Volo Bog, a hidden outdoor gem in Illinois

We were in the area exploring the Volo area (Hippo Campus and Volo Auto Museum) and in my search heard about Volo Bog, the only quaking bog in Illinois, significant in that it exhibits all stages of bog succession. Since we lucked out with the unseasonably warm, but windy weather, we thought we would do a little exploring, boggy style.


  • Picnic tables readily available. You know how we love our picnic lunches! It was nice seeing other families with the same idea.

  • Neat visitor center. The visitor center gets cool points for being a former dairy barn. The best part of the building were the elevators located in what was the silo. What made it super cool was that they had glass windows so we could see as we moved up and down. It is really, really slow though.

Volo Bog Inside Elevator Silo

  • Cool bones and artifacts. The kids had a great time looking at these artifacts and trying to guess what they were in its former life. They especially liked opening and closing the drawers to see what else they could find.

Volo Bog CLoseup Artifacts

  • Walkway preview. It was neat seeing how it would feel like crossing over the floating walkway.

  • Getting out and exploring the trails. We stuck to the shorter of the two trails, the Volo Bog Interpretive Trail. Very, very cool. You are basically walking on a floating walkway throughout the bog.

  • Cool scenery. You really don’t see things like this everyday. It was nice to see signs along the way so you knew what you were looking at and also learning a little bit about what you were looking at.

  • Neat animals.  You never know what you’ll find. On our visit we saw turtles in the pond! (It’s there, really.)

We Wish:

  • We could try the longer trail, the Tamarack View Trail. Maybe when our youngest is a little older 🙂


  • There are two trails to take:
    • We took the shorter of the two, the Volo Bog Interpretive Trail, which was only about a half mile. A very fun and easy loop.
      • No strollers are allowed.
      • Parts of the trail do not have railings, so hold on tight to your youngins. We don’t want them falling in!
      • No pets on this trail.
    • Tamarack View Trail is 3 miles and have an opportunity to see more of the diverse natural comminities within the park.
      • The maps show that there is an observation platform, observation tower, and observation blind.
  • Take note of the signs of poisonous plants, hazardous soils, and slippery floating walkways when wet.


Bottom Line:

What a hidden gem, folks! If you’re already in the area and the weather is in your favor, it’s well worth a stop!

Nitty Gritty:

Location: 28478 W. Brandenburg Rd., Ingleside IL 60041
Hours: Visitor center is open Wednesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ticket prices: Free
Crowded: We visited on a Saturday mid-morning and it was not crowded at all.
What to expect:  Picnic area, visitor center, trails

Family fun in Volo Bog, a hidden outdoor gem in Illinois

While You’re Here:

Hippo Campus – a fun playspace for younger kids

Volo Auto Museum – classic cars, famous Hollywood cars, train rides, a Disney showroom, tons and tons to look out

Fratello’s Hot Dogs – family business selling hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian beef, with a drive-thru