Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established in 1996. It is the first national tallgrass prairie in the country and one of the newest units of the National Forest System. The priaire consists of over 18,000 acres of natural grass and wetland areas. With over 29 miles of trails, there is more than enough room for hiking, biking, horse-back riding, and walking. Visitors enjoy the scenery of the natural wildflowers, and over 100 species of birds.
Midewin holds many events throughout the year, including guided nature tours, educational activities for kids, hike-n-bike twilight tours, and Civil War re-enactments. Since the prairie is set at the site of a former arsenal ammunition plant, Midewin holds bunker tours of the old relics as well as ghost tours complete with campfires and stories of the old Army soldiers.
Midewin is also the largest open space in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area and northeastern Illinois. Even while ecological restoration is underway, it offers respite from the urban world and an opportunity to be immersed in a unique landscape within an hour’s drive of downtown Chicago.
Midwest Living Magazine article: 6 Ways to Enjoy Illinois' Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
30239 S. State Route 53
Wilmington, IL 60481
8 a.m - 4:30 p.m. M-F
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-Sat.