what do a 50-foot-tall medieval-replica castle tower and abandoned pottery factory have in common? it’s the fox.

A couple times each summer, I haul my bicycle (technically, I put it in my car hatchback area) and head west.

Why? The Fox River Trail. More than 44 miles of paved trail for bicycling, walking. And it wasn’t until this past weekend that I bothered to notice stuff around the Fox.

A medieval-replica castle tower—Pratt’s Castle, constructed in 1937—complete with a moat and drawbridge.

Pratt's Castle in Elgin, Illinois

What’s left of the Haeger Pottery factory (not much).

Haeger Pottery in West Dundee, Illinois

Even a historic brick roadway from the 1930s. Last of its kind for the area (Elgin).

Historic brick roadway on N. Spring Street in Elgin, Illinois

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