Chicago: Prairie Wetlands Loop

Escape the land of skyscrapers on this 3.6-mile, fi gure-8 circuit where wildlife-rich wetlands mix with undulating meadows and forested tracts.
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Escape the land of skyscrapers on this 3.6-mile, fi gure-8 circuit where wildlife-rich wetlands mix with undulating meadows and forested tracts.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.9

Waypoints

PWL001

Location: 42.2526588439941, -88.3200073242188

Head E past manicured ball fi elds.

PWL002

Location: 42.2527084350586, -88.3183670043945

L into woods on gravel trail

PWL003

Location: 42.2548789978027, -88.3156814575195

L @ 3-way through dense woods and hilly terrain

PWL004

Location: 42.2548713684082, -88.3124771118164

L @ 3-way; more woods and hills

PWL005

Location: 42.2555694580078, -88.311149597168

L @ 3-way; ahead, goldenrods bloom in a deer friendly meadow

PWL006

Location: 42.2567710876465, -88.3108978271484

L @ 3-way into Sternes Woods

PWL007

Location: 42.2593307495117, -88.3108291625976

Bottom of bluffs; head onto gravel road through stand of walnut trees

PWL008

Location: 42.2617301940918, -88.3079986572266

Turn R, heading around a groundwater-fed wetland with grasspink orchids (endangered in Illinois) and lady's slipper

PWL009

Location: 42.2597999572754, -88.305793762207

L @ 3-way through canopies of hickory and oak

PWL010

Location: 42.2584800720215, -88.3062973022461

L @ 3-way back through WPT 6, heading S; @ WPT 5, go L

PWL011

Location: 42.2517890930176, -88.3118362426758

R @ 3-way onto Prairie Trail

PWL012

Location: 42.250659942627, -88.3174209594726

Take L down RR-tie stairs, then head S, crossing two small bridges around pond with a mix of willow, bluestem grasses, and patches of red pine; continue .4 mi. back to vehicle