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Chicago, IL: Indiana LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area

in

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 5.2 miles


Geese, mallard--and occasional Chicagoland escapees--frequent the LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area where this 5.2-mile loop hints at the history of the world's largest marsh.

This counterclockwise loop tours the levees and service roads of Indiana’s LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area for an easy hike through part of the Kankakee Marsh, once the world's largest wetland.

Beginning at parking area 3A, head west for 1 mile atop a 15-foot levee. Water levels fluctuate in the ponds and the waterfowl areas lining the levee  and may be flooded (or crowded with cattails) depending on the season and desired hunting conditions. Heading south the trail enters DNR-controlled farmland where croplands rotate between sunflower, sorghum, and other species that feed and attract wildlife. Continue east before skirting the Beaver Lake Ditch where mature hardwoods mingle with open savanna. Squeezing between the Snag Bayou on the right and the Black Oak Bayou on the left, the trail tops the levee again before it hits the Kankakee River and turns west for the final mile back to the parking area.

Call (219) 992-3019 or stop at the area’s headquarters before your hike to check for seasonal closures, common between October and February.

-Mapped by Ted Villaire

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