Hiking and Biking and Boating, Oh My!June 24, 2016
With summer around the corner, Chicago-area forest preserves, golf courses, bike trails and waterways are bustling with activity as outdoor enthusiasts pursue their favorite warm-weather pastimes. For those in the market for a new home, a number of local new-construction communities give residents the opportunity to live in proximity to these recreational destinations, making it easy for busy homeowners to spend time outdoors and enjoy a variety of activities. Here are several options:
Duffers’ Dream Homes
Edward R. James Companies is currently building Westgate at The Glen, a 171-unit maintenance-free community with access to two on-site golf courses – The Glen Club and the Glenview Prairie Club. For seasoned golfers, the Glen Club is an 18-hole championship golf course that was named to the Top 10 New Courses lists published by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Sports Illustrated. The Glenview Prairie Club is a nine-hole course that also features the popular off-season sport of paddle (or “platform”) tennis. Both golf courses are part of The Glen, an 1,100-acre mixed-use development on the site of the former Glenview Naval Air Station. Westgate at The Glen is the last residential parcel to be developed at the site.
“Whether our residents are golf lovers, or taking up the game for the first time, Westgate at The Glen gives them two fantastic options,” said Jerry S. James, president of Edward R. James Companies. “The courses also provide a beautiful setting for the homes that can be enjoyed year-round.”
Westgate at The Glen is a 29-acre community offering a mix of cluster single-family homes, rowhomes and townhome mews. The community entered its final phase of sales late last year, and is currently nearly 80-percent sold. Pricing for the single-family cluster homes starts in the upper-$700,000s up to the upper-$800,00s, and range between 2,634 to 3,029 square feet. Rowhomes range from 1,885 square feet to 2,464 square feet, and priced between the mid-$500,000s to the low-$600,000s. The townhome mews are sized from 2,030 square feet up to 2,217 square feet, and are priced from the upper-$400,000s to the low-$500,000s.
Waterfront Homes for Boaters
Chicago-area boating enthusiasts seeking a full-time, vacation or retirement home with marina amenities and nearby water access can choose from a variety of homes available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort, a marina resort community located on the Illinois River in Ottawa, Ill., within Starved Rock Country.
“What boaters love about our community is that the river is right here – they don’t have to tow their boat to a lake or river, or drive to the harbor where they keep the boat,” said Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Harbor Ottawa. “Whether they live here full time or use their home at Heritage Harbor as a nearby weekend getaway, they can maximize their boating time because all they have to do is walk over to our full-service marina and they’ll be on the water in minutes. Plus, our boating season on the river can be several weeks longer than other bodies of water in the region, particularly Lake Michigan.”
Barry noted that in addition to a boating lifestyle, Heritage Harbor Ottawa also offers outdoor enthusiasts proximity to three nearby state parks, including Starved Rock State Park. Bicyclists also appreciate that the community has a direct access point to the I&M Canal Trail, which runs adjacent Heritage Harbor.
Homes currently available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa include vacation cottages and carriage homes priced from $159,900; townhomes priced from $259,900; and immediate-delivery single-family homes priced from $320,000. Custom single-family home sites are available priced from $90,000. For information on Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort and available homes and vacation rentals, call (815) 433-5000 or visit www.heritageharborottawa.com.
Home Base for Bicyclists
Located just off Route 31 along the Fox River, The Reserve of St. Charles gives residents who enjoy bicycling convenient access to one of the most popular biking trails in Chicago’s suburbs – the Fox River Trail. The Meritus Homes community of single-family homes in St. Charles is less than 1 mile from Fox River Bluff West Forest Preserve, which features biking paths of its own, plus a connection to the 43-mile Fox River Trail.
“It’s just a short ride from the entrance of our community to get to the forest preserve and access the Fox River Trail, which is great for families and serious cyclists alike,” said Kathy Kelly, sales manager for Meritus Homes. “Bikers can choose whether they want to follow the trail toward downtown St. Charles, where they can stop in at cafes and shops along the trail, or take a longer ride north toward Elgin.”
Semi-custom home packages at The Reserve of St. Charles include ranch, master-down and two-story designs ranging in size from 2,610 to 3,918 square feet and offering four to five bedrooms, 2½ to 3½ baths, full basements and attached two- or three-car garages. Homes are priced from $505,900. An on-site sales center at The Reserve of St. Charles, located at 745 Reserve Drive, is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (630) 549-6486 or visit www.MeritusHomeBuilders.com.
Nature Next Door
For homebuyers whose favorite warm-weather activities are hiking and being out in nature, Red Seal Homes’ Willow Lake development in Lake Forest not only features a beautiful natural setting with carefully preserved wetlands and mature trees, but also connects directly to the adjacent Middlefork Savannah Forest Preserve. With 640 acres of natural areas and a network of walking paths, the nearby forest preserve is the ideal place for Willow Lake residents to regularly enjoy a scenic hike or viewing birds and wildlife attracted to the area.
“Many Willow Lake residents have very busy lifestyles between work, kids and volunteering. So the fact that they can come home, walk outside their door and be just steps away from an amenity that offers them so many different ways to unwind or recharge is seen as a luxury,” said Karen Schmid, sales manager for Willow Lake. “Plus, our residents have water access rights to two on-site lakes, where they can enjoy kayaking or fishing as other fun activities for being out in nature.”
Located off Route 60, just east of Interstate 94 and across from Conway Farms Golf Club, Willow Lake includes 52 semi-attached, maintenance-free homes. The upscale community offers seven floor plans ranging from 2,491 to 4,338 square feet with two to four bedrooms, 2½ to 3½ baths, and attached, two-car garages. They are priced from $800,000. For information, visit www.rswillowlake.com or call Karen Schmid at (847) 722-8016 to schedule a tour.