Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie


As the largest public open space in northeastern Illinois, Midewin offers experiences of vastness and solitude unavailable elsewhere. The goal of recreation management at Midewin is to provide opportunities for long distance trails without interruption by public roads, and opportunities to experience prairie ecosystems and view grassland wildlife.To view activies available by location please click Find An Area in the box to the right. To view each activity specifically click the desired activity to the left. PUBLIC ACCESS On National Trails Day, June 5, 2004, the first 5,000 acres of Midewin were opened to the general public. As of November 2009, nearly half of Midewin’s current acreage is open to the public. Areas will continue to be opened gradually in phases as Army clean up progresses.There are currently 5 main access points at Midewin:P1   River Rd Trailhead   Explosives Rd Trailhead   Iron Bridge Trailhead   *Hoff Rd TrailheadTRAILS There are many miles of trails available at Midewin for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Nonmotorized recreational activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are also welcome in the winter when there is enough snow on the ground. Consult the current  Trail Map for ideas or visit the Welcome Center to talk with a host about the best options for your day and your family. MOTORIZED ACCESSAs prescribed in the Prairie Plan (2002), recreational motorized vehicle use at Midewin is limited to public access routes, parking lots, permitted public transportation, or authorized guided tours. This type of use is considered not compatible with the legislated purposes of Midewin, i.e., motorized recreation vehicles may negatively affect wildlife and destroy investments in prairie restoration.Information about the roads accessible by private motorized vehicles is available on the Motor Vehicle Use Map for Midewin.INTERPRETIVE TOURS & PROGRAMSA variety of tours, walks and rides, programs, kids’ activities, and lectures are offered at Midewin throughout the year.  For the most current schedule, go to Midewin’s Event Calendar. NATIONAL VISITOR USE MONITORINGClick here for information about the Forest Service’s quinquennial (every five years) visitor survey and the results of the 2003 and 2008 surveys at Midewin.The Forest Service is currenlty compiling surveys conducted for the 2013 survey year. 






, IL


Interpretive Programs Hiking Horseback Riding Hunting Picnicking Visitor Center Wildlife Viewing


FS - USDA Forest Service

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Currently Viewing Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie