Moraine Hills State Park: Rolling Hills, Top-Notch Hiking Trails, Winter Sports, and Much More

If you’re looking for a little adventure just an hour from Chicago, you should visit Moraine Hills State Park (1510 S. River Road, McHenry, IL 60051). That’s what I did recently on an early spring day that started out in the high 40s and reached 62 degrees under a bright sun and blue skies. The … Continue reading Moraine Hills State Park: Rolling Hills, Top-Notch Hiking Trails, Winter Sports, and Much More

Goodbye (and Good Riddance) 2020…Hello 2021!

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I want to thank my Nature in Chicagoland readers for visiting my blog in 2020. In nearly 45 blog posts, I covered everything from buffalo "hunting" at Kankakee Sands; to exploring the remnant prairies that dot Chicagoland's landscape; to 14 of my favorite national parks and other … Continue reading Goodbye (and Good Riddance) 2020…Hello 2021!

A Lake Michigan Calendar, Books Spotlighting Iconic Chicago Scenes and Destinations, and Nature Books to Fill Your Holiday Stockings

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If you’re looking for holiday stocking stuffers, consider the following nature- or Chicagoland-oriented calendar and books. My friend TED GLASOE, an environmental advocate and an award-winning nature photographer and a champion of protecting Lake Michigan, offers a 2021 calendar and photographic prints that feature breathtaking images of our … Continue reading A Lake Michigan Calendar, Books Spotlighting Iconic Chicago Scenes and Destinations, and Nature Books to Fill Your Holiday Stockings

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”

Powderhorn Prairie, Marsh, and Lake: A Unique Dune and Swale Landscape, Fishing, and an Exciting Restoration Project

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Powderhorn Prairie, Marsh, and Lake is a nature gem tucked amongst rail yards, industry, and city and suburban neighborhoods on the far South Side of Chicago. There are two main Powderhorn properties: a 48-acre human-made lake with 7,000 feet of shoreline (which is located in … Continue reading Powderhorn Prairie, Marsh, and Lake: A Unique Dune and Swale Landscape, Fishing, and an Exciting Restoration Project

Burnham Prairie Nature Preserve: A Birdwatching Hotspot

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND A prairie and a nature preserve in the middle of an urban neighborhood? I wasn’t expecting much as I drove through blocks and blocks of homes. I passed kids playing in front yards, people unpacking groceries from their cars, and others cutting their grass. But … Continue reading Burnham Prairie Nature Preserve: A Birdwatching Hotspot

Kankakee Sands: Bison Hunting, Wide Open Spaces, and Great Hiking

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND There is nothing like hiking on a prairie or through a dense forest without seeing nearly another soul for 4+ hours. And that is what I experienced last week when I visited Kankakee Sands on a sunny, humid day in the high-80s. This stunning natural … Continue reading Kankakee Sands: Bison Hunting, Wide Open Spaces, and Great Hiking

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

Belmont Prairie and More Than 25 Other Prairies in Chicagoland to Visit and Enjoy

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Willa Cather, one of my favorite authors, once described the Midwest (especially Nebraska) as a “Sea of Grass.” But farms, miles of pavement, and cities and suburbs have replaced much of this vast ecosystem. This is especially true in Illinois, which is misleadingly known as the “Prairie … Continue reading Belmont Prairie and More Than 25 Other Prairies in Chicagoland to Visit and Enjoy