Explore the most popular trails in Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

over grown
1 month ago

Veered off the original planned hike, 5yr old was with and the trail grass was very high and wet and muddy in some spots

We saw the bison

I understand the bison are free roaming and Im very grateful for that. If I wanted to guarantee seeing them up close I'd go back to South Dakota. The trail itself was quiet and easy to follow. The only downside for me was the scenery was essentially the same the whole way around. Might go back and try and different trail sometime.

3 months ago

Parking is listed as iron bridge trailhead. Most the maps do not call this buffalo viewing trail. It is an easy hike with distant views of the buffalo and some access to the old ammunition bunkers.

Very nice gravel trail. Some spots fairly uneven but not a problem. Great place for a morning ride. Shade is pretty sparse.

11 months ago

Easy trail. Viewed a herd of over 40 bison in their pasture and toured one of the old Joliet Arsenal bunkers. Wanted to say hello to the hot shot crew while there, but they were in a fire assignment in Florida.

11 months ago

Lots of butterflies and flowers. This is a neat little trail. Make sure you bring water with you a lot of open space with no shade. Go out and enjoy this trail.

Monday, May 14, 2018

I really wish they’d have dirt trails instead of gravel. Just my opinion.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A good Sunday morning on the Prairie

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Easy trail, most of it is old tire track lanes. Chance to see some wildlife. Coyote, deer, and usual birds in the area.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This is a nice unpaved short trail that takes you into the woods. We saw deer and tracks which the kids enjoyed.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pretty simple path, open view along the buffalo fence. Did not see any Buffalo.

Monday, October 09, 2017

No shade and a little bumpy for our stroller. Did not see buffalo but saw many monarch butterflies.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Easy trail. Chance to see buffalo. Great for seeing prairie sights...birds, insects, flowers. Can also see some of the old bunkers that are near the trail.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Easy trails here, but don't go on a hot day, there is no shade. Not much to see unless you get a chance look at a bison, which is pretty unique.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Nice walk through the prairie. Long hike to the bison.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Great trail. there was no one on it when I was. Led to the Buffalo look out trail where we were able to see them.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Walked this trail this morning. The trail starts and ends on a grassy earth trail, but the middle wing is part of the Midewin West Side Trail: packed earth. Good views of the prairie and quite a few birds. be warned: Wild Parsnip is infiltrating the area and it is nasty.

road biking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

We took a troop of Scouts on a bike hike. The gravel trail was smooth, but be sure to slime the tires: thorns can be treacherous. As you approach the Iron Bridge Trailhead, you may have a chance to see bison.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Good trails. Bison are great to see when they are in view. Wonderful to go hiking and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Is different, beautiful. There's actually more trails off River rd. When you see a "game farm" sign you need to turn the opposite way on boathouse road.. you want to go north on boathouse. There is only 1 small hard to see sign. All the western trails are here. Beware of Ticks, spray and keep to center of trails. Prairie Creek was a nice short trail with a pond outlook in some semi-dense forest. Henslow trail is the long one in the west of the park. You are out in the prairie for the whole thing, bring water, the sun will destroy you! But it is worth it.... mowed grass trail that goes right thru the heart of the prairie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Led a group of Cub Scouts along the Group 63 Trail Loop. The ranger was able to show the boys a Cold War era bunker and we did spy bison at a distance with binoculars. Great Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I went by myself one day, It was decent but nothing too extrodinary. I suppose it was because if the trail I took. I would ask the visitors office for a more specific trail to what your looking for and you'd probably enjoy it much more

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yes, lots of Ticks. We took the Group 63 Interim Trail. It was great fun exploring the old bunkers, though the cows pasturing in the area earlier left us lots of "presents". Great trail for a nice day.

Monday, June 01, 2015

I ran the Twin Oaks loop trail. It is passable most of the 5.3 miles but the south western portion was overgrown to the point where the knee high weeds are slapping into you. Also, I suspect a hog farm is nearby.

on Buffalo Viewing Trail

Monday, June 09, 2014

Easy trail but no shade so bring the sunscreen and tick spray. Main trail is gravel but other loops are cut prairie grasses, some walk-thru gates. Some of the east side bunkers are open for exploring. Cow pasture next to the trail to the iron bridge, so you may have company, they will follow you, including 2 that escaped and were actually on the trail. Good for birding and butterfly watching.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nice walk, careful though we picked up many tics!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4 trail heads the south patrol road trail head is the best because you go through one of the retired bunker fields for the joliet arsenal that made ammo and explosives since world war 2 trail maps are located on http://www.fs.usda.gov/midewin. what you can do there is hike bike and horse back riding but you have to bring your own horse.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Midewin continues to be a work in progress as the federal government is turning much of the former Joliet Arsenal into tallgrass prairie. In fact the most interesting part of the area are the decaying army structures and concrete bunkers one can see on a day visit. There are several trails in the area and all are pretty easy though the length can be challenging to some. My visit included hiking a 13 mile loop formed by the Group 63, Twin Oaks, and Bunker Field trails. Though the area is federal land administered by the United States Forest Service , it is a sparsely visited area.

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