Chicago – More rustic than you think

One of my favorite things about living in Chicago is the fact that you don’t have to go far to experience the natural beauty of the Midwest.

volo.jpgOne of my favorite places to go when I was younger is the Volo Bog up in Lake County. I know, “bog”, it sounds so gross. But the bog is actually an amazing natural occurance left from a glacier. There is a floating boardwalk that takes you into the bog, as well as a trail around the perimeter. The further you move into the bog, the less you feel like you are just 40 miles north of one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. It is absolutely amazing and completely calming. There is an enormous variety of plants and wildlife, many which you have probably never seen, and a few that are endangered. So make sure to bring your camera.

skokie.jpgI have never been to the Skokie River Nature Preserve, and am kicking myself in the pants for it. It’s so close! How is it that I have never made the trek? I am so embarrassed for myself. The Skokie River area extends into the Chicago Botanic Gardens, so you can check it out along with the 26 other gardens and make a day of it. Unlike Volo, the Skokie River area is a testament to wildlife preservation in an urban setting. Not just a river, the 4.2 miles of trails cover everything from prairie to wetland. Members of the Lake Forest Open Lands Association are allowed to bring their dogs as well, with a minimum $100 donation. I gotta start saving my pennies, because I know Truffle would love spending a Sunday up there.

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