Friday, November 12, 2010

Turtle Pond and Turtle Pond Trail in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

The Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is the largest tallgrass prairie east of the Mississippi River.  It is also one of the largest one-space prairies in Northeastern Illinois.

Midewin has a variety of trails open to the public.  There are several picnic areas.  There are flush toilets at the Midewin Welcome Center on Rt. 53 and port-a-potties along major trails.  Check out the Midewin Trail Map Page for more info.   On our hike, we did not see any drinking fountains or other source of water, so you should make sure you bring plenty of water with you.


Willcountynews recently hiked out to Turtle Pond, parking at the Hoff Road Trailhead and walking down the Old Chicago Road to get to Turtle Pond.  Here's what we saw!

Old Chicago Road in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie


Field of winter wheat in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie




Old fire hydrant in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie on Old Chicago Road.  When the Prairie was the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, the Arsenal had its own fire department.


Looking east from Old Chicago Road in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie




Seed beds in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie on the way to Turtle Pond.




Video of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Beds near Turtle Pond:





Turtle Pond, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie



Turtle Pond, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie



Turtle Pond in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie


Turtle Pond, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie



Turtle Pond, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Video of Turtle Pond with Old Joliet Arsenal building in the distance:




Winter Wheat and trees in the distance, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie



Old electric pole and insulators off Old Chicago Road in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie