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

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

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

Oak Park Conservatory: Visit the Mediterranean, Tropics, and Desert in a Matter of Minutes

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND A beautiful oasis overlooks Interstate 290—one of Chicagoland’s busiest, and most irritating-to-travel-on, highways. But unlike many urban oases, you won't be able to get a greasy bag of fries or play that kids claw machine game, where you can never snatch the good prize before time expires. … Continue reading Oak Park Conservatory: Visit the Mediterranean, Tropics, and Desert in a Matter of Minutes

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

12 tips for a winter hike The wildest place in Cook County Nearly 10 amazing places to see bison in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa The story of finding a mysteriously empty picnic grove and nature preserve and wondering who loves it A great nature center to visit and hike at in the winter--and beyond … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021