Bogged down by winter? Visit a real peat bog at Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve and stay at the nearby and affordable Best Western Inn Suites Midway Chicago Hotel!
One of the few natural bog areas of Illinois, the 372 acre Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve offers wide gravel paths suitable for hiking, biking and horseback riding. A stranded ice block, from the glaciers 14,000 years ago, created a unique terrain which supports sphagnum moss, usually associated with Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, as well as white wild indigo, blazing star, and tall bellflower. Bird- and frog- watchers will be enthralled by the slough (pronounced “slew,” a kind of wetland) and its inhabitants, pileated woodpeckers, bluebirds and tufted titmice. The year round residents of Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve include herons, egrets, ducks and gulls. In spring and summer, visitors can enjoy serenades from the variety of frogs, including gray tree frogs, spring peepers and green frogs. Beaver and tiger salamanders also make homes in the wet areas.
The Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve, part of the larger Palos Forest preserves in Willow Springs, is open year round. Nearby horse stables offer riding packages.
The Country Lane parking lot has a shelter with picnic table and port-o-johns. To view the slough only, park at the 95th Street pulloff and walk the unpaved yellow trail into the marsh. Dogs are prohibited.
Stay at nearby Best Western Inn Suites Midway Hotel. The hotel offers affordable guest rooms, free breakfast, an indoor swimming pool and hot tub and a fitness center. Pets are welcome and special AAA rates are available. Call the property direct at 708-497-3000.