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

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

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

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

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

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