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Chicago, IL: Monee Reservoir

Monee Reservoir’s 2.5-mile nature trail offers a family friendly wetland wander through a suburban wildlife sanctuary (and an idyllic fishing spot).

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Thirty miles south of Chicago, Monee Reservoir is a year-round destination for picnicking families or fishermen sacrificing minnows to the largemouth bass beneath its murky surface. At 2.5 miles, the Reservoir’s nature trail makes for an easy afternoon escape from suburban Chicagoland.
From the trailhead on the east side of the visitor’s center parking area, this grassy nature trail begins by skirting the north end of Monee’s main reservoir and crossing a wooden bridge. Doglegging north around two smaller ponds, the trail cuts between a cluster of oak and maple trees before stopping just short of Pauling Road.
Turn south for a 10-minute detour to a grassy wetland cul-de-sac—a perfect picnic spot and bocci-player’s dream—or continue west through a shady stand of hardwoods and cross a second bridge. Watch for blue herons and geese as the raised trail makes a half-mile loop around a marshy wetland before backtracking toward the visitor’s center.
-Mapped by Justin Pattison

To Trailhead

I-57 S to exit 335. Right onto W Monee Manhattan Rd. In 0.3 mile, left on Ridgeland Rd. In 2.1 miles, left on Pauling Rd. Take the first right on Ridgeland Rd. Go south 0.3 mile to forest preserve entrance; turn left. Turn left at T-junction to access trailhead from the visitors center parking lot.

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