Flowers and Fungus:
Cahokia Flatwoods Forest Preserve

As noted last week, the plan for this week was to return to the Cahokia Flatwoods Forest Preserve. Well, we did! First, however, some logistics.

Where to park. After much Internet searching, it appears that there aren’t any dedicated parking lots for the Cahokia Flatwoods. So, since we were coming from Chicago (to the south), we decided to park south of Lake-Cook Road (in Cook County) and cross the bridge over Lake-Cook Road to gain access to the Cahokia Flatwoods. Note, however, finding the “designated” (legal) Forest Preserves District of Cook County parking lot/parking area on the west side of the Des Plaines River is easier said than done.

The following satellite photo (with my crude markings – haha) shows where I believe the “approved” parking is (the orange star). Living somewhat on the edge (at least for me!), we parked in the area shown by the small yellow dot; however, that parking lot is owned by the Westin hotel. As my Trail Tracing partner will attest, parking in that area provided me with lots of opportunities to obsess about our car being towed (it wasn’t – whew!). If we ever return, I think the better choice will be to park in what appears to be the approved area.

Parking for Cahokia Flatwoods_LI

So, we set off towards the Cahokia Flatwoods. First, we headed a bit south on the path along the west side of the Des Plaines River, and then crossed the bridge that took us into the Potawatomi Woods. We then turned left (heading north) and next crossed the bridge over Lake-Cook Road.


Welcome to Lake County! The path between Lake-Cook Road and Deerfield Road is somewhat meandering, which I like since it provided us with some “awe” moments coming around the bends. Along the way, there were a couple of other bridges.


Other sights included some huge berries (they look like blueberries, but aren’t!), flowers, and fungus.


And, since I enjoy taking pictures of reflections on the water, here are a couple of those shots.

Cahokia Reflection1

And, as always, here’s a short video of our Cahokia Flatwoods Trail Tracing experience.

Even though it’s not exactly easy to access the Cahokia Flatwoods Forest Preserve, it’s definitely worth the effort. Plan your visit today!

find a trail ~ find your path

~Trail Tracing

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