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

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!

Photo Exhibition Tells the Tale of Two Lake Michigans—and Reinforces the Need for Good Environmental Stewardship

  Lake Michigan plays an integral role in the life of Chicagoans and other Midwesterners. Our beautiful lake, its sandy beaches, wildlife, and the sky above are an ever-changing collage of colors and motion: fiery orange and red sunrises and sunsets, crashing waves, migrating birds such as Purple Martins and Chestnut-Sided Warblers in the air … Continue reading Photo Exhibition Tells the Tale of Two Lake Michigans—and Reinforces the Need for Good Environmental Stewardship

Mississippi Palisades State Park—Great Views, Muddy Shoes, and Eagles in Twos

Where: Northwest Illinois—16327A IL Route 84, Savanna, IL 61074, 815/273-2731, http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r1/palisade.htm Distance From City-Center Chicago: 150 miles Travel Time: About 3 hours, 15 minutes depending on how leaden your foot is Visited: February 11, 2017 Quick Review: The region where the park is located in what is called the Driftless Area, which was untouched by … Continue reading Mississippi Palisades State Park—Great Views, Muddy Shoes, and Eagles in Twos