Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve: Stunning Spring Wildflowers, a Sun-Dappled Creek, Splendid Fall Colors, and Easy Hiking

Copyright Andrew Morkes BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I didn't see any raccoons, but I did savor acres and acres of stunning wild geraniums and mayapples during my hike last week at Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve (5851 W. Pauling Road, Monee, IL 60449). This 213-acre Illinois Nature Preserve is a great destination for a … Continue reading Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve: Stunning Spring Wildflowers, a Sun-Dappled Creek, Splendid Fall Colors, and Easy Hiking

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

40-foot limestone cliffs, a stream, beautiful waterfalls, and a fishing pond–all in a Chicago neighborhood  12 tips for a great winter hike 20+ museums, nature centers, and other destinations to visit in Chicagoland on a winter day 14 beautiful National Park destinations–start your spring and summer trip planning Great hiking and biking and remnants of … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2020

More Than 20 Museums, Nature Centers, and Other Destinations to Visit In Chicagoland on a Winter Day

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND It's a snowy weekend in Chicago, but that's no reason to stay at home. A 10-mile winter hike = NO! Camping = NO! But you can still get out and take a short walk or, more realistically, enjoy one of our area's many natured-oriented places, museums, and … Continue reading More Than 20 Museums, Nature Centers, and Other Destinations to Visit In Chicagoland on a Winter Day

Author and Professor Discusses the Magical Driftless Area

Flat. Boring. These are two common words that come to mind when people think of much of the Midwest. But there's a special place in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that features limestone bluffs, rolling hills, wooded valleys, waterfalls, creeks, wetlands, rivers, caves, Native American Effigy Mounds, and rare ecosystems and plant and animal species. … Continue reading Author and Professor Discusses the Magical Driftless Area

Indiana Dunes National Park: Our Nation’s Newest National Park

Congress finally did something right! Earlier this year, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (IDNL) became Indiana Dunes National Park (IDNP), making it the country's 61st national park and the first in Indiana. The debate continues on whether Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore deserved national park status (a category that offers far more protections than other National Park … Continue reading Indiana Dunes National Park: Our Nation’s Newest National Park

Hello 2019…Goodbye 2018!

I want to send a 500-foot-tall, Godzilla-like thank you to all of my Nature in Chicagoland readers for visiting my blog in 2018. In about 30 blog posts and more than 46,000 words (I didn't count them, so I'll have to trust my data analytics software), I’ve covered everything from troll hunting, snow shoeing, and … Continue reading Hello 2019…Goodbye 2018!

Volo Bog: An Ice Age Remnant and the Only Quaking Bog in Illinois

About 12,000 years ago, the last of the towering glaciers that covered parts of what is now Chicagoland began melting. As one of the massive glaciers melted, a water-filled depression was left in its wake. The depression eventually developed into a deep 50-acre lake that had steep banks and poor drainage. About 6,000 years ago, … Continue reading Volo Bog: An Ice Age Remnant and the Only Quaking Bog in Illinois

Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

Today is the one-year anniversary of my blog, Nature in Chicagoland. In the last year, I’ve published more than 40 articles (45,000+ words, I can’t believe it myself) about the great outdoors.  I’ve covered everything from eagle watching and views of the mighty Mississippi River at Mississippi Palisades State Park, to remnants of the Manhattan … Continue reading Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

First-Time Snowshoer Tells All: 10 Tips for Success and My Son’s Thank You

My snow mantra worked—maybe too well! Within the last week or so, snow-starved Chicagoland became a winter wonderland. Shouts of joy and a blizzard of curse words came from those who either embraced or were enraged by the nearly 12 inches of snow that’s fallen in the last week. Last week, my wife, 7-year-old son, … Continue reading First-Time Snowshoer Tells All: 10 Tips for Success and My Son’s Thank You