Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve: Ravines, Rolling Hills, and a Historic 1862 Church/Nature Center

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve was a baseball hit, it would be a majestic home run walloped by Babe Ruth or “Hammerin' Hank" Aaron at the height of their powers. If it was a streaming success, it would be The Wire, one of my favorite shows … Continue reading Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve: Ravines, Rolling Hills, and a Historic 1862 Church/Nature Center

Matthiessen State Park: Awe-Inspiring Canyons, Colorful Cliffs, and a Biodiversity Hotspot

I heard the soothing sounds of falling water striking soft sandstone as I descended the steep steps from the Dells Area parking lot to the trail below. By the sound, the water was falling fast and in large volume to the canyon floor. It was a beautiful 60-degree morning in mid-April, sunny and breezy, and … Continue reading Matthiessen State Park: Awe-Inspiring Canyons, Colorful Cliffs, and a Biodiversity Hotspot

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

5 Things to Do at Lake Renwick Preserve/Heron Rookery Nature Preserve

“The geese are having a blowout of an argument” was my first thought as I began hiking along the main trail that travels along a beautiful lake at Lake Renwick Preserve in Plainfield, Illinois. I heard a symphony of honking (although the geese lacked a conductor) that I estimated was coming from half a mile … Continue reading 5 Things to Do at Lake Renwick Preserve/Heron Rookery Nature Preserve

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

The wildest place in Cook County 12 tips for a successful winter hike and some destination suggestions The celebration of a high school friend taken too soon More than 20 amazing nature spots on Chicago’s South Side and in the Southland to check out this weekend and beyond. A midwestern region where you’ll be saying, … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

7 Things to Do at Rock Run Rookery Preserve

Looking for an excellent spot for birdwatching, short hikes, fishing, snowshoeing, and other outdoor activities? If so, Rock Run Rookery Preserve (23065 S. Youngs Road, Joliet, IL 60436) is a perfect destination. The 224-acre preserve features 84-acre and 13-acre lakes (which were originally created and used for quarrying), as well as breeding areas (including islands) … Continue reading 7 Things to Do at Rock Run Rookery Preserve

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!

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

A story about the migration of tens of thousands of sandhill cranes; you can view this great Midwestern migration for the next few weeks. A Chicago city park that features 154 acres of native marsh and wet prairie habitat, great birdwatching, and easy hiking trails Nearly 22 acres of restored woodlands, wetlands, and a pond … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in November 2020

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”

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