Southwest Chicagoland Preserves
for Free Weekend Getaways & Outdoor Adventures
Hidden beneath the bluffs, a sparkling stream curls through an emerald woodland lush with spring flowers. Maples immerse you in autumn gold. And winter turns a pewter panorama into an expanse of shining silver.
This rare and expansive prairie is built upon a base of dolomite limestone. Buffered by river and wetland, the prairie comes to life with squadrons of water-loving dragonflies and fields of pink nodding wild onion.
Springtime finds me wandering the woodland. Mesmerized by hypnotic fields of bluebells and white trilliums, I cross the same stream for the fifth time. Disoriented, I wonder where I am. It’s easy to lose yourself here.
With an invigorating jolt of green and an eye-popping carpet of spring ephemerals, this intimate woodland is a springtime paradise and a visually explosive place to visit.
Spring is the time to visit. Under a leafless woodland in the blackest of muck, skunk cabbage emerges, initiating a chain reaction of sparkling wildflowers that spreads across the forest floor.
A lush and intimate canyon with verdant fern-lined walls; curving, carving stream; and modest, yet picturesque, waterfall.
A daydream come true. Discover the beauty and drama of the seasons as you make your way around wetlands, through open woodlands, and over rolling panoramas of prairie.
Here lies a tale of two prairies: one, a tallgrass prairie, dense and looming, soft in soil; the other, rare and rocky, where stunted plants rooted in dolomite limestone grow few and far between.
This vast nature preserve offers a variety of habitats and miles of trails that will wind you through woodland and wetland, prairie and savanna, and along the splendid banks of Sawmill Creek.