Written by: Faiq Ahmad (August 2023)

Trails: As you arrive at Nature At The Confluence and take one of our trail maps, little do you know that you are about to embark on a breathtaking journey. Hiking through the beautiful scenery of the confluence of Turtle Creek and the Rock River is an adventure that immerses you in the stunning beauty of nature. As you begin, the atmosphere envelopes you, accompanied by the soft rustling of leaves. The world inside is truly remarkable, with the light seeping through and the smell such as if you have set foot into a fairy tale that only exists in books. Each turn reveals new wonders, from vibrant native wildflowers that paint the landscape with bursts of color, to towering trees that provide shade and shelter. In early summer, you will find ripened blackberries after every milestone as a gift from nature.

Eagle Point: When you reach Eagle Point, a magnificent vista unfolds before your eyes. The nest that once was fallen has started to be rebuilt by the eagles. Perched high above the Rock River, you stand in awe as you witness the majesty of eagles soaring gracefully across the expansive sky, their keen eyes scanning the water below. The sense of tranquility and harmony that envelops you at this vantage point is truly humbling, reminding you of the profound connection between humans and the natural world. 

Adventure Backpacks: When you explore our diverse range of Adventure Backpacks, there is something for everyone. Birding enthusiasts with the “Birding Backpack” can discover the world of birds with binoculars, field guides, and a birding app called Merlin, while bat enthusiasts with the “Bat Backpack” can delve into the night sky with an echometer, tablet, and field guide. The echometer not only enables you to hear the bat calls, but also identify what kind of bats we have. “Bug Backpack” helps bug lovers to observe and identify creepy crawlies using nets, containers, and guides. The “Art & Poetry Backpack” unleashes creativity with books and painting supplies, while the “Sports & Games” backpack offers a frisbee, football, card games, and bean bag toss. And for those seeking relaxation, the “Get Comfy” backpack provides a blow-up lounger, outdoor blanket, and pillow. Each backpack is a gateway to unforgettable adventures at The Confluence, where nature’s beauty and thrilling experiences await.

Creek Walk: When you are done with Adventure Backpacks, you can go cool yourself with a creek walk. Kayaking along the tranquil waters allows for peaceful reflection and wildlife encounters, while creek walks offer an immersive experience amidst the wonders of the creek’s ecosystem. These activities foster family bonding, create lasting memories, and cultivate a deeper appreciation for nature’s beauty and preservation. At The Confluence, families unite with the water’s rhythm and vibrant surroundings, forging cherished moments and unforgettable experiences in the heart of nature. Kelly Creek maintains a water level at ankle height, while Turtle Creek showcases fluctuating depths, primarily remaining flat and shallow as it meets the Rock River. However, it’s recommended that creek walkers wear closed-toe shoes due to the possibility of encountering sharp rocks and fragments of glass. Additionally, swimming in the creek is discouraged, and it’s advised to ensure that the area above the knee remains dry at all times.

Events: At The Confluence, visitors can not only revel in the abundance of outdoor activities but also delight in the beauty of nature while attending a range of special events throughout the year. One such event is the vibrant “Community Fire & Drum Circle”, where people of all ages gather around, following the lead of the drum leader, creating a different and enjoyable vibe. Amidst the gentle rhythm of the drums, you can savor the presence of nature and even make and share s’mores. These special moments provide a unique blend of enjoyment and connection with the natural surroundings.

Another exciting event is the Friday Nature Friends, in which we have story time and activities for children. Additionally, you can take part in Wednesday Workdays where volunteers help preserve and enhance the natural surroundings. These special events not only add a touch of uniqueness but also foster a strong sense of community among visitors.

Indoor: Families with children can also enjoy the convenience of an indoor play area, where kids can engage in fun and interactive activities, ensuring their joy even on days when the weather might not be ideal for outdoor adventures. Furthermore, we have restrooms and running water available for your comfort and convenience. There are intriguing exhibits about the Native American people, offering insights into their rich culture and the profound history of this land.