A Little Time and a Keyboard: Spectacular Views, History and Birding at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve

Friday, May 8, 2020

Spectacular Views, History and Birding at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve

Spectacular Views, History and Birding at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve

Spectacular Views, History and Birding at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve Northern Illinois

Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve melds history and nature. Perched along Lake Michigan, the Northern Illinois forest preserve once was a U.S. Army Post from 1887-1993. You will easily note the history of the area by observing the architecture. Signs throughout the preserve detail the history at different points. You can also walk along the parade ground and take some moments of solitude, respect and gratitude at the Fort Sheridan cemetery.

The Water Tower at Fort Sheridan. History surrounds!
The Water Tower at Fort Sheridan. History surrounds!


Hiking along the trails for Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve.
Hiking along the trails for Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve.

One thing that has immediately surprised me about this preserve in addition to the history, is how rich the area is for birding. The most popular area during our visit was the portion of the trails hugging the Lake Michigan coastline. However, if you take the more rustic trails you will be greeted with many more birds. I am glad that I brought my birding binoculars to this preserve! We were treated with many sightings and a song sparrow even sang to us!

Picturesque ravine will having you oooing and awwing in spots at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve in Highwood, Illinois
Picturesque ravine will having you oooing and awwing in spots.

The trails also highlight picturesque ravines. As a result of the terrain, there are some bridges within the preserve. While we are under a social distancing order, it is important to take turns on the bridges to keep distances.

Frog enjoying spring!
Frog enjoying spring!

During our walk, we also found a pond full of frogs. There were frogs in several locations and families were certainly enjoying spotting them!

Trillium and other wildflowers captivate.
Trillium and other wildflowers captivate.
We also saw plenty of woodland wildflowers including trillium!

Sweeping views of Lake Michigan from Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve in Northern Illinois.
Sweeping views of Lake Michigan from Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve!

Of course, you cannot skip the sweeping Lake Michigan views!

Blending of ecosystems with a lake view!
Blending of ecosystems with a lake view!


Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve abuts against the Openlands Lakeshore Forest Preserve adding more to your nature escape! This area provides us with a wonderful place to enjoy nature and savor fantastic views all year round.

 Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve Lake Forest, IL



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