On the Joys of Hiking for a Hike’s Sake and Saying Goodbye to My Favorite Chicagoland Nature Spot for the Year

When you spend the last several years writing a book—Nature in Chicagoland: More Than 120 Fantastic Nature Destinations That You Must Visit—you don’t get to spend as much time visiting your favorite nature destinations (because there are always new places to see) and rambling through the woods with no cares in the world. But all … Continue reading On the Joys of Hiking for a Hike’s Sake and Saying Goodbye to My Favorite Chicagoland Nature Spot for the Year

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

Nearly 10 amazing places to see bison in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa An amazing prairie in Westchester, Illinois   A wonderfully wild, hilly nature preserve with a Civil War–era church that's now a nature center A rare mesic gravel prairie tucked between noisy Interstate 55, railroad tracks, warehouses, LaGrange Road, and the Des Plaines … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in September 2021

Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve: “Forests” of Wildflowers, a Rare Prairie Ecosystem, and Great Birdwatching

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Wolf Road Prairie in Westchester, Illinois, is a stunning 82-acre preserve that will overwhelm you with its colorful native wildflowers; acres and acres of big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, and prairie dropseed; a cattail-filled wetland; and a bur oak savannah that features a 250-year-old … Continue reading Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve: “Forests” of Wildflowers, a Rare Prairie Ecosystem, and Great Birdwatching

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”

Sand Ridge Nature Center: Indoor and Outdoor Education and Fun in All Seasons

copyright Andrew Morkes I’ve traveled thousands of miles to visit national parks, visited more than 100 natural and historic spots in Chicagoland, and lived in Chicago for 50 years, yet I’d still not visited the “tree-rific” (bad pun intended) Sand Ridge Nature Center (SRNC) (15891 Paxton Avenue, South Holland, IL 60473, 708-868-0606, Facebook) that’s less than … Continue reading Sand Ridge Nature Center: Indoor and Outdoor Education and Fun in All Seasons

THE 10 MOST-POPULAR STORIES AT NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND IN OCTOBER 2019

Ghost stories of Chicago’s southwest suburbs and my own ghost story The wildest nature destination in Cook County The story of a 100-year-old home gobbled up by developers The only open-water quaking bog in Illinois 2,500 acres of rolling hills and towering cliffs above the confluence of the great Mississippi and Apple Rivers 8 places to … Continue reading THE 10 MOST-POPULAR STORIES AT NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND IN OCTOBER 2019

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center: The Only Canyon in Cook County, Great Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing, and Much More

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center (12545 West 111th Street, Lemont, IL 60439, 630/257-2045, Facebook) is a perfect destination in all seasons. In the spring and summer, visit it for wildflower viewing, birdwatching (more than 100 species of migrant and resident birds are found at the center), a diverse range of hiking trails (there are 2.6 miles … Continue reading Sagawau Environmental Learning Center: The Only Canyon in Cook County, Great Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing, and Much More

The 10 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in August 2019

40-foot limestone cliffs, a stream, beautiful waterfalls, and a pond--all on Chicago's South Side Troll-hunting at Morton Arboretum (act fast; they're going away next spring) Beautiful, secluded beaches, towering sand dunes, and top-notch hiking trails just 50 miles from Chicago Secluded beaches, towering cliffs, great camping, shipwrecks, and lighthouses Great hiking and fantastic views of … Continue reading The 10 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in August 2019

Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Photo Contest, But You Need to Act Fast

Do you love spending time in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), at Brookfield Zoo, and at the Chicago Botanic Garden? Are you the next Ansel Adams? Do you want to earn some bragging rights and a bunch of free calendars? If so, you should enter the FPCC’s 7th Annual Photo Contest. All you have … Continue reading Forest Preserves of Cook County Offers Photo Contest, But You Need to Act Fast

8 Things to Do Outdoors This Spring in Chicagoland

Spring is here in Chicagoland—at least if you look at the calendar, but not the thermometer. Warmer weather is on the horizon, spring flowers are stirring beneath the ground, migratory birds are heading north, and it will be warm and green in no time. Here are 8 things you should do outdoors this spring in … Continue reading 8 Things to Do Outdoors This Spring in Chicagoland