Spotlight: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Nineteen thousand acres of open prairie offer hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Getting ThereThe Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is located in northeastern Illinois. Entering the prairie from the south will lend an opportunity to visit the Midewin Welcome Center. There you can learn more about the prairie ecosystem and grassland wildlife through the many free programs offered during the year.
What You’ll FindNineteen thousand acres of vast tallgrass prairie and solitude unavailable anywhere else. The rich history and culture behind Midewin will capture you just as easily – home to Native Americans, pioneer settlers and, once operating as the Joliet Arsenal, manufacturing ammunition beginning in the 1940s.
Make Sure YouTake time to experience the silence that comes with open space. Find a quiet spot on one of the 32 miles of trail and fade into the scenery. Midewin is home to 108 species of breeding birds, 40 aquatic species, 23 species of reptiles and amphibians, 27 species of wild mammals and a conservative estimate of 25 insect species which require native plant communities to survive.
Try ThisCar caravan tour with a ranger. Drive your own vehicle and participate in a staff-led caravan, narrated by radio as you move from point to point. Tours range from birding expeditions to Midewin’s pioneer cemeteries.
Don’t ForgetTo check the calendar of events at Midewin. Events range from kids making seed bombs (a fun way to introduce prairie plants) to the Cow Watching tour (fun for the whole family and you get to meet the local cattle)! Be sure to call ahead for tour reservations, (815) 423-6370.
Get StartedCome dressed for the weather, wearing shoes suitable for walking over easy to moderately uneven ground. Bring water, sun protection, and insect repellant. Cameras and binoculars are encouraged.