Spears Woods: Room to Roam Amidst Rolling Hills, Sloughs, and Oak Woodlands

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If you’re looking for a large preserve in which to hike, bike, cross-country ski, snowshoe, and otherwise explore, than Spears Woods near Willow Springs, Illinois, is the place to be. It offers rolling hills; sloughs (such as whimsically named Boomerang, Hogwash, and Pollywog Sloughs); winding … Continue reading Spears Woods: Room to Roam Amidst Rolling Hills, Sloughs, and Oak Woodlands

Visit Sand Ridge Nature Center for a Wonderful Winter Experience

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND The crunch of my footsteps on crisp ice and snowBirdsong high above in the treesDeer tracks imprinted in the slippery icePoems posted in the frozen forest These were just a few of the things I experienced or encountered yesterday on a bright 17-degree day, with … Continue reading Visit Sand Ridge Nature Center for a Wonderful Winter Experience

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

Tour Guide Takes Clients on Restorative Nature Experiences in Chicagoland

Laura Derks is the founder of Flybird Experience and has been leading people on restorative experiences in nature since 2016. She volunteers as a Master Naturalist in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), is a certified TreeKeeper through Openlands, and volunteers with Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections to the Outdoors (where she has developed programs … Continue reading Tour Guide Takes Clients on Restorative Nature Experiences in Chicagoland

Discovering Nature and Finding Peace During the Pandemic: A Story of Three Seasons in Chicago’s Southland

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I lived for 15 years on the “mean streets” of…well…well…Jefferson Park—a “nice-streets” neighborhood on Chicago’s far Northwest Side. Not a concrete jungle, but certainly a city neighborhood, with pretty houses packed closely together; mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and bars hanging on for dear life during the … Continue reading Discovering Nature and Finding Peace During the Pandemic: A Story of Three Seasons in Chicago’s Southland

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 September 2020

A beautiful fall hiking destination with easy trails and diverse ecosystems A Nature Conservancy gem in Northern Indiana that features prairies, oak forests, and bison Ghost stories of Chicago’s southwest suburbs and my own ghost story Great destinations on Chicago’s South Side and in the Southland to check out this weekend and beyond Nearly 22 … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in September 2020

Try “The Ted” if You’re Looking for Some Nature in the Time of COVID-19

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND With so many of our natural spaces being closed to deter crowds in the age of COVID-19, it’s becoming a little harder to find places to hike, run, stroll, and otherwise enjoy nature. That where “The Ted” comes in. “The Ted,” which is officially named Thaddeus S. … Continue reading Try “The Ted” if You’re Looking for Some Nature in the Time of COVID-19

Celebrating the Three-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Today is the three-year anniversary of my blog, Nature in Chicagoland. In the last 1,095 days, I’ve published more than 120 articles 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 … Continue reading Celebrating the Three-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

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