The Story of a Rock, a Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wanderlust, and Summer Adventures Out West

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND This rock (all 9.9 ounces) fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. It was my constant companion when I solo hiked a portion of the 144-mile Maah Deh Hay Trail in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP). TRNP is wild and beautiful—buttes, badlands, and grasslands that overlook … Continue reading The Story of a Rock, a Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wanderlust, and Summer Adventures Out West

14 Amazing National Park Service Destinations for Spring and Summer Road Trips

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Planning a spring or summer road trip? If so, here are 14 of my favorite National Park Service destinations to check out. Six are located in the Midwest. Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico): More than 120 caves. The park features the largest colony (estimated at about 400,000) … Continue reading 14 Amazing National Park Service Destinations for Spring and Summer Road Trips

Indiana Dunes National Park: Our Nation’s Newest National Park

Congress finally did something right! Earlier this year, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (IDNL) became Indiana Dunes National Park (IDNP), making it the country's 61st national park and the first in Indiana. The debate continues on whether Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore deserved national park status (a category that offers far more protections than other National Park … Continue reading Indiana Dunes National Park: Our Nation’s Newest National Park

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: Wilderness, Waterfalls, Great Hiking and Camping, and Much More

If I had a second wife, she would be Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan about 425 miles from Chicago. I have hiked its beautiful trails, hunted agates and fossils and collected driftwood on its rocky shores, swam in its bone-chilling waters, kayaked its stunning lakes, and camped … Continue reading Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: Wilderness, Waterfalls, Great Hiking and Camping, and Much More

9 Indoor Spots to Visit in Chicagoland During a Snowy Weekend

This weekend in Chicagoland is expected to be snowy and cold. While you may not be able to take a long hike or go camping, there are many natured-oriented places, museums, and even an auto museum you can visit to get out of the house and stay out of the snow and cold. Try the … Continue reading 9 Indoor Spots to Visit in Chicagoland During a Snowy Weekend

Why I Love the Outdoors Despite Once Being Impaled by a Cactus, Nearly Run Over by a Bison, and Having a Scratched Cornea Ruin My First Date With My Future Wife

If you view many people’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts (including mine sometimes), nature is pretty, awe-inspiring, often cuddly, and almost perfect in its beauty. In photos and stories, the spring flowers are a multi-colored blanket of wonderful on what was once a muddy field, the photographer arrived just in time at a beautiful spot … Continue reading Why I Love the Outdoors Despite Once Being Impaled by a Cactus, Nearly Run Over by a Bison, and Having a Scratched Cornea Ruin My First Date With My Future Wife

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