All explained below:
This preserve has no parking lot, no facilities, indeed, no features except nature - and now, finally, this trail. This preserve has some of the finest, rarest, and most sensitive ecosystem that survives in the eastern tallgrass region. People who hike there have often trampled remnant gems that are way too small and precious for that. Given good care, rare nature should expand and cover the site. Steward Laurel Ross and all friends of this preserve have long seen the need for such a trail.
The white flags line this whole one-third-mile-long trail. They're temporary. After some foot traffic, the trail will be defined by the pattern made by our feet.
So, this is part of the adventure. The trail goes through original prairie, miserable weed patch, and various levels of recovery. Watching how the changes unpredictably unfold - over the years - inspires awe in many of us. It could for you too, especially if you know the species, or want to learn.
A few of the log paver coins wait for the next rainstorm, which may teach us which areas need more reinforcement. Wood pavers and bridge were hauled by students from Evanston Township High School and Northwestern Lutheran Campus Ministry. Thank you, all.
Second to last photo.
A view of the prairie.
A special place.
Deserving special care.
Including feet that focus themselves off the precious remnant vegetation.
If you take a walk there from time to time, that would help establish the trail.
And you'd be so much richer.
You could bring this trail guide on your phone - to better understand what you're seeing.
To visit, you park at the Northbrook Post Office on Dundee Road. Notice the sign in the northeast corner - and the beginnings of the footpath. (Please park in the spaces closest to Dundee Road, so as not to fill up the spaces convenient to the post office. It's good of the Post Office to let their small lot be used for the nature preserve.)
By far the ugliest ever to appear on this blog. This is what the entrance looks like!
There are lots of them - this time of year.
Tall rubber boots can help.
Or go with someone you'd like to exchange tick checks with.
Thanks for proofing to Kathy Garness and Eriko Kojima.