Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

Today is the one-year anniversary of my blog, Nature in Chicagoland. In the last year, I’ve published more than 40 articles (45,000+ words, I can’t believe it myself) 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 the Manhattan … Continue reading Celebrating the One-Year Anniversary of Nature in Chicagoland

New Book Spotlights 111 Off-the-Radar Destinations in Chicago

YOU WON'T FIND DEEP DISH PIZZA PLACES (okay, there’s one, but it’s a gem), Navy Pier, beef-sandwich joints, and Willis Tower (or Sears Tower, as it is still referred to by many lifelong Chicagoans) in 111 Places in Chicago That You Must Not Miss, by Amy Bizzarri. And that’s a good thing. I cringe when … Continue reading New Book Spotlights 111 Off-the-Radar Destinations in Chicago

Orland Grassland: A Respite From Malls, Motorways, and Modernity

Where: 167th Street & South LaGrange Road--About 35 miles southwest of Chicago city-center Quick Summary: A large restored grassland complex with prairie, oak savannas, shrublands, ponds, wetlands, and woodlands. Perfect for hiking and birdwatching. THIS DOESN'T LOOK PROMISING, I thought to myself, as I drove south on LaGrange Road toward Orland Grassland. LaGrange Road would be better … Continue reading Orland Grassland: A Respite From Malls, Motorways, and Modernity

4 National Park Service Destinations Within 0 to 220 Miles of Chicago

Have you ever visited a national park, monument, or other National Park Service property? If not, the Labor Day weekend is a great time to start. According to the NPS, “the National Park System covers more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 417 sites with at least 19 different designations. These include 129 … Continue reading 4 National Park Service Destinations Within 0 to 220 Miles of Chicago

Effigy Mounds National Monument: Massive Bears, Stunning Views, and Thousands of Years of Native American History

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service. Marching Bear Group. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service. Where: Northeastern Iowa. The monument is located three miles north of Marquette, Iowa, on Highway 76. Phone: 563/873-3491, ext. 123 (visitor center front desk) Web, Facebook Distance From City-Center Chicago: 220 miles Travel Notes: The historic river town of … Continue reading Effigy Mounds National Monument: Massive Bears, Stunning Views, and Thousands of Years of Native American History

Kohler-Andrae State Park: Camping, Surf and Sand, and Much More

“Will that cool sandbar still be at the lake like last year? Do you think the racoons will visit our campsite again? Can we make smores by the fire like last year?” These are just a few of the questions my seven-year-old peppered me with as we drove to Kohler-Andrae State Park, which is just … Continue reading Kohler-Andrae State Park: Camping, Surf and Sand, and Much More

River Trail Nature Center: Birdwatching, Hiking, and Much More

Where: 3120 Milwaukee Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062, 847/824-8360, Web Visited: June 23, 2017 and April 18, 2017 Quick Review: A nature center that features: Beautiful views of the meandering Des Plaines River, great birdwatching, and three easy-to-hike trails through forest and wetlands. Many birds. Yes, I know I just mentioned them, but they’re worth another mention. … Continue reading River Trail Nature Center: Birdwatching, Hiking, and Much More

Celebrate National Park Week by Visiting a National Park—For Free!

The National Park Service (NPS) has partnered with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week (NPW) from April 15 to 23, 2017. National Park Week is actually 9 days, but why quibble if we can enjoy two more days of celebrating what many call “America’s Greatest … Continue reading Celebrate National Park Week by Visiting a National Park—For Free!

Take a Nature Hike, President Trump

The Trump Administration continues to eliminate EPA rules that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil we grow our crops in, and much more--all in the name of allowing corporations to have more freedom to make money. His Secretary of the Interior is currently making drastic cuts to the size of … Continue reading Take a Nature Hike, President Trump