Foley's Pond is one of Highland Park's best kept secrets! Tucked away in a residential neighborhood is this 4 1/2 acre nature area with a large 2 1/4 acre pond, surrounded on all sides by Mesic Closed Savanna. According to Highland Park's Park District website (photo courtesy of them too); Foleys Pond was a brickyard owned by the Foley family in 1897, where they mined the area for clay to make bricks. About 20-30 feet down they hit an underground spring and the hole quickly filled with water creating a pond. The Park District bought the pond from Mr. Foley in 1925. The pond was stocked with bass, perch and pickerel. During the 1930s and 1940s wild canaries roosted in the trees around Foleys Pond. The area is now a great place for bird watching, fishing and spotting local wildlife.
This passage about Foley's pond was published in the Chicago Tribune by Barbara Brotman:
Foley's Pond, Highland Park
Shame on me for revealing this hidden treasure, but -- ooh la la! Tucked behind split-levels at the end of a path between back-yard swing seats and barbecue grills is a 4-acre slice of paradise.
The sweet pond is ringed by brambles and a rough path that add to its untended charm. Birds tweet, chatter and chirp at high volume. Frogs plop into the water as you pass. A single duck, an elegant black and gray with a white bill, plies the mirrored water.
You can walk the trail that snakes around the pond, briefly abuts a golf course and ends in a wide expanse of grass with a picnic table. You can bird-watch. You can fish, not just for the schools of iridescent orange carp lurking below the surface, but bullhead, bluegill and largemouth bass.
It is not in pristine shape, said devotee Donnie Dann, a veteran birder and Highland Park resident; the pond is surrounded by invasive buckthorn. "But in spring and fall it is loaded with migrant warblers," he said. "I used to refer to it as the best-kept secret in Highland Park."
Foley's Pond, 1268 McDaniels Ave.
Check out my listing that backs up to Foley's Pond, www.1258McDaniels.info
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