Located at the corner of Wolf Road and 31st Street in Westchester, the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve is considered the largest and best quality black soil prairie east of the Mississippi River. Its 80 acres go from marsh land to prairie to savanna. Considering today only 1/100th of 1% of original prairie remains in Illinois, it is a jewel of the western suburbs.
This is a beautiful place to visit, especially in the spring when the fragrant wild hyacinths are blooming under its magnificent oak tree. Wild flowers and grasses thrive here making anytime a great time to visit. The pathways are actually old sidewalks that were laid in a failed attempt to develop the land in 1929 but even with them in place this area is considered fragile so there are no bicycles allowed in the Prairie Preserve.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of Cook County and Save the Prairie Society currently own and manage the land making it the only such hybrid in Cook County. It is a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve and nominated National Natural Landmark and as such it has become popular for ecotourism. The Wolf Road Prairie Preserve is a conservation destination with visitors from more than 40 countries along with scout groups, school groups, birders, photographers and civic organizations,
Across 31st Street are Bemis Woods and the Salt Creek Trail making Wolf Road Prairie Preserve a perfect addition to a “nature day” in your vacation.