Pine Dunes Forest Preserve: Birding, Biking, and Easy Hiking

Looking for a place where you can: view as many birds as possible have the chance to hike several miles on a loop trail enjoy some solitude visit someplace new If so, you should visit Pine Dunes Forest Preserve, which is located in Antioch, Illinois, near the Wisconsin border. It’s part of the Lake County … Continue reading Pine Dunes Forest Preserve: Birding, Biking, and Easy Hiking

Goodbye 2022…Hello 2023!

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER AND AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I want to thank my Nature in Chicagoland readers for visiting my blog in 2022. I continue to love writing this blog, and wish I had more time in my daily life to do so. I visited many nature destinations in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West … Continue reading Goodbye 2022…Hello 2023!

8 Reasons You Should Vote Yes for the Cook County Forest Preserves on Election Day and 11 Spots to Visit

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND The Forest Preserves of Cook County feature 70,000+ acres of beautiful public land. Its prairies, forests, wetlands, lakes, rivers, streams, and savannah provide excellent opportunities for hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, horseback riding, running, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, swimming, and other forms of outdoor recreation. It … Continue reading 8 Reasons You Should Vote Yes for the Cook County Forest Preserves on Election Day and 11 Spots to Visit

Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve: Great Blooms, Biking, Hiking, and Nature Experiences

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND How lucky we are to have such natural places as Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve, where the saw-toothed sunflowers grow tall as fairytale giants (OK, maybe not that tall), the plentiful asters prettily mark the end of wildflower season, and the birds seem to sing a … Continue reading Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve: Great Blooms, Biking, Hiking, and Nature Experiences

Bluff Spring Fen: A Fen-tastic Nature Experience in Far Western Cook County

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If you only read one sentence of this entire story, it should be this one: Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve is an amazing place that is at the height of its summertime wildflower show, and you should visit today, tomorrow, or very soon to see … Continue reading Bluff Spring Fen: A Fen-tastic Nature Experience in Far Western Cook County

Toto, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Chicago Anymore: 10 Nature Destinations Where You’ll Swear That You’re Not in the City

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Chicago has a population of nearly 2.7 million people, more than 4,000 miles of streets, and large industrial areas with factories spewing pollution into the air, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan. Like most U.S. cities, it also has problems with crime, racial inequity, poverty, lack of … Continue reading Toto, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Chicago Anymore: 10 Nature Destinations Where You’ll Swear That You’re Not in the City

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

Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary: Great Birding, Wide-Open Spaces, and Enjoyable Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Beautiful hilly grasslands. Big skies. Enjoyable hiking trails. The opportunity to see more than 100 bird species. If these phrases catch your attention, you should visit Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary (559 E. Rush Creek Road, Stockton, IL 61085) in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. The 409-acre preserve … Continue reading Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary: Great Birding, Wide-Open Spaces, and Enjoyable Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing

Galena Gateway Park: Amazing Views of a Historic Town, Great Hiking, and Excellent Wildflower and Bird Viewing

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation and the Galena Area Land Enthusiasts are the official managers of stunning Galena Gateway Park (9300 W. Powder House Hill Road, Galena, IL 61036). But when I visited last week, the red-winged blackbirds were firmly in charge—especially in the highlands. These beautiful … Continue reading Galena Gateway Park: Amazing Views of a Historic Town, Great Hiking, and Excellent Wildflower and Bird Viewing

Prairie Enthusiasts Executive Director Discusses Why It’s Vital to Save Prairies (Including Bell Bowl Prairie) and Celebrates the Expansion of Mounds View Grassland Preserve

Debra Behrens is the Executive Director of the The Prairie Enthusiasts, a grassroots environmental organization that has 11 chapters in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. I recently talked with her about the expansion of its land holdings (a wonderful development in an age where we have to fight to preserve every last bit of the natural … Continue reading Prairie Enthusiasts Executive Director Discusses Why It’s Vital to Save Prairies (Including Bell Bowl Prairie) and Celebrates the Expansion of Mounds View Grassland Preserve