Big Marsh Park: Spectacular Bike Tracks, Bountiful Birding, and Much More

“Big Marsh Has Big Plans.” That’s the newspaper headline I’d write if I were covering the ongoing environmental restoration and nature and recreational development efforts at Big Marsh Park, 11555 S. Stony Island Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617) on Chicago’s far Southeast Side. This natural area is located on 297 acres of reclaimed industrial land on … Continue reading Big Marsh Park: Spectacular Bike Tracks, Bountiful Birding, and Much More

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”

West Ridge Nature Preserve: An Oasis in Chicago

Where: 5601 N. Western Avenue (Intersection of Ardmore & Western), Chicago, IL 60659, FacebookOpen: Dawn to Dusk Quick Review: Nearly 22 acres of restored woodlands, wetlands, and a pond. A perfect place for a short hike or contemplation. Beautiful hiking trails, fishing access points, a kids’ outdoor play area, and much more. Western Avenue between … Continue reading West Ridge Nature Preserve: An Oasis in Chicago

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in April 2019

The terrible story of a boy who fell through the cracks, and what we can do to be better people A look at tallgrass prairies in Chicagoland and info on a new book The wildest nature spot in Cook County A story of three funeral directors (one of whom was my father) The remnants of … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in April 2019

12 Tips for a Successful Winter Hike

Winter hiking is the perfect antidote for a Saturday morning marathon of Netflix’s Nailed It. That’s what I discovered last Saturday as I managed, after several hours of finagling, to pull my 8-year-old son away from the amateur baking competition culinary-astrophe (just kidding; I actually like the show in small servings) to go for a … Continue reading 12 Tips for a Successful Winter Hike

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!

Palmisano Park: A Hidden Gem in Chicago

You don’t expect to find 40-foot limestone cliffs, a stream, beautiful waterfalls, and a pond in the middle of Chicago. But at Palmisano Park—a hidden gem at 27th and Halsted in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood—that’s just the case. This beautiful urban oasis is an attractive destination for hikers, runners, fishers, wanderers, dog walkers, kite-fliers, urban philosophers, … Continue reading Palmisano Park: A Hidden Gem in Chicago