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Southwest Chicagoland Preserves
for Free Weekend Getaways & Outdoor Adventures

Black Partridge Woods

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.

Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve

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.

Messenger Woods Nature Preserve

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.

O’Hara Woods Preserve

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.

Pilcher Park

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.

Sagawau Canyon

A lush and intimate canyon with verdant fern-lined walls; curving, carving stream; and modest, yet picturesque, waterfall.

Spears Woods

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.

Theodore Stone Preserve

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.

Waterfall Glen

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.