Illinois Beach State Park: Beautiful Dune, Lake, and River Views; Hiking; Biking; Camping; and Other Great Outdoor Recreational Activities

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND There are only 63 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois (as opposed to 3,288 miles in Michigan), and much of this land has been developed as part of city lakefronts, heavy industry, and private beachfront property. That’s why Illinois Beach State Park (1 Lake … Continue reading Illinois Beach State Park: Beautiful Dune, Lake, and River Views; Hiking; Biking; Camping; and Other Great Outdoor Recreational Activities

6 Great Products That Will Make Your Outdoor Life Easier

BY ANDREW MORKES, AUTHOR AND FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND UPDATED 8/18/22 How do you vanquish flies before your next barbeque or campout? How do you quickly start a fire when camping or hanging out in your backyard? Which on-the-go steeped coffee doesn’t taste stale and lifeless? Where do you find a good lightweight sleeping … Continue reading 6 Great Products That Will Make Your Outdoor Life Easier

McKinley Woods: Enjoy Breathtaking Views of the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal, Excellent Hiking Trails and Birdwatching, and More

McKinley Woods is a beautiful preserve that features bluffs, deep ravines, and forests along the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal. There are two access points: Frederick’s Grove and Kerry Sheridan Grove. I recently spent several hours on a warm spring day hiking the trails at Frederick’s Grove, which has north and south parking areas. … Continue reading McKinley Woods: Enjoy Breathtaking Views of the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal, Excellent Hiking Trails and Birdwatching, and More

The Story of a Rock, a Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wanderlust, and Summer Adventures Out West

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND This rock (all 9.9 ounces) fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. It was my constant companion when I solo hiked a portion of the 144-mile Maah Deh Hay Trail in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP). TRNP is wild and beautiful—buttes, badlands, and grasslands that overlook … Continue reading The Story of a Rock, a Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wanderlust, and Summer Adventures Out West

Celebrating the Five-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Today is the five-year anniversary of my blog, Nature in Chicagoland, and I'm so happy to have written nearly 200 articles about the woods, wetlands, grasslands, prairies, lakes and other waterways, and other natural areas that make up Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. I'm pleased that Nature … Continue reading Celebrating the Five-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

New Book Shows That You Don’t Need a Car to Enjoy Chicagoland Nature

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND The Chicago metropolitan area (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau) consists of nearly 11,000 square miles. In this vast area, there are a plethora of awe-inspiring nature destinations. There is Lake Michigan, our vast inland sea, which offers an amazing interplay of sky and … Continue reading New Book Shows That You Don’t Need a Car to Enjoy Chicagoland Nature

14 Amazing Nature Spots I Visited This Year That Should be on Your Chicagoland “Nature Bucket List”

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND It's been a challenging year in many ways as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the contentious presidential campaign, and other factors. But amidst the stressful conditions, there have been two constants: my great family and nature. My family has provided support, solace, companionship, … Continue reading 14 Amazing Nature Spots I Visited This Year That Should be on Your Chicagoland “Nature Bucket List”

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in July 2020

A great canoeing/kayaking/hiking destination in the Chicago area 40-foot limestone cliffs, a stream, beautiful waterfalls, and a fishing pond–all in a Chicago neighborhood Advice on camping with kids in the time of COVID-19 and beyond A great state park with camping, surf and sand, and much more just two hours north of Chicago An Ice … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in July 2020

Tips for Camping With Kids During and After the Time of COVID-19

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Let me answer the question that many people have asked me lately: Would you take your son camping in this time of COVID-19? My answer: yes, if I can respond yes to the following questions: Are the current COVID-19 conditions in the area where I … Continue reading Tips for Camping With Kids During and After the Time of COVID-19

20+ Great Destinations on Chicago’s South Side and in the Southland to Check Out This Weekend and Beyond

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Looking for something to do this weekend and beyond? If so, check out these 20+ great places on Chicago’s South Side and in its south and southwest suburbs. I’ve also included Indiana Dunes National Park, one of our nation’s newest national park, and it’s just as beautiful … Continue reading 20+ Great Destinations on Chicago’s South Side and in the Southland to Check Out This Weekend and Beyond