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Geographical Index > United States > Illinois > Du Page County > Report # 28679
Report # 28679  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Tuesday, January 4, 2011.
Hiker finds possible footprints in Timber Ridge Forest Preserve (w/photos)
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YEAR: 2011

SEASON: Winter

MONTH: January


STATE: Illinois

COUNTY: Du Page County

LOCATION DETAILS: It's a brand new hiking path in the Timber Ridge Forest Preserve on the east side of Prince Crossing Road and not very well known or used yet.


NEAREST ROAD: Prince Crossing Road

OBSERVED: I went for a hike at lunchtime in a newly made path that cuts through the Timber Ridge Forest Preserve. This path is surrounded by about 8 ponds. It has been very cold and snowy here in the teens and 20's for almost a month except for one warm day that melted the snow. All this melt caused the crushed gravel path to act like a white clay, making all the hikers/dogs/coyotes footprints visible in a 30 foot area.

Along with these prints are bare footprints about 13 " long. Looking at the 5 pictures I took, they're deeper set than all the other shoe prints, with 5 distinct toes.

I've read BFRO reports before, but I didn't think this area of Illinois would ever have any kind of activity.

I took a few pictures with my glove for scale. I measured the gait with my walking stick (3ft 10") I'm 5' 9" & tried to walk the gait of the prints but it was almost impossible. I followed them back to see where they started and they gradually came from the thick grass on the left.

I just kept saying 'who would walk barefoot out here it's way too cold?'

ALSO NOTICED: On previous hikes in the woods off of this path I found a small 2-3" diameter tree with its top that had been twisted to almost broken off, at about 6 feet high. I tried to twist it myself & realized I didn't have half enough strength. That still puzzles me.

I would love to know if BFRO thinks this could be an area where they might come to or through. I would also like you to see my pictures.

OTHER WITNESSES: I'm sure other dog walkers have seen them. They're still there until we have rain or melting snow.


TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 12:30 pm (lunchtime) it was mostly sunny, very cold about 20 degrees

ENVIRONMENT: Combination of Illinois woods and prairie. There are 8 or so little ponds and a larger, very marshy lake in this area. This forest preserve is one of many that are almost connected for miles.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:

Left foot impression next to the witness' glove.

Right foot impression next to the witness' shoe.

I spoke with the witness by phone.

In summary:

- The footprints were thirteen inches in length.
- The impression showed all five toes in the wet crushed gravel.
- The witness stated that the distance between successive steps was too great for him to match.
- According to their website the new running shoe Vibrams fit men up to a foot length of 12".

The area does have a large population so I reviewed a satellite map (see below). The area where he found the possible footprints is circled in red with tracts of forest nearby.

About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:

Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog for recordings he has collected over the years.

Stan Courtney can be reached at

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