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“Worth a visit to see the prairie, hard to find the bison”

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Wilmington
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 6, 2017

This relatively new addition to the national forests service lands is in a relatively remote area near Joliet IL, but worth seeing. We spent a couple hours trying to find the bison but they are elusive and we never found them, tho the Forest Service posts signs indicating where they should be grazing. We did see magnificent and luxurious prairie plants however. We were on foot but this is a great place to bicycle. The trails are nicely surfaced for both walking and biking. New toilets were being installed and should be open soon, and there were signs that water fountains would be coming.

Thank Michael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"open to the public"
in 6 reviews
"forest service"
in 4 reviews
"welcome center"
in 4 reviews
"visitor center is"
in 4 reviews
"iron bridge"
in 5 reviews
"viewing area"
in 3 reviews
"wild flowers"
in 2 reviews
"few hours"
in 2 reviews
"bison herd"
in 2 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 7 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 9 reviews

7 - 11 of 51 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2017

I visited yesterday with my 9-year old. The bison were clustered around a watering hole and so we didn't have an opportunity to see them up close. We walked about 1.5 miles to reach the viewing area. Another visitor loaned us his binoculars, so we could see the bison. We visited one of the igloos that held munitions, which my daughter enjoyed entering to listen to the echo. The wildflowers were in bloom and the skies filled with big clouds. The Visitor's Center is small, but includes information about Native American settlement in the area, flora, fauna, geography of the area, etc. The Prairie is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. It is very close to Wilmington, IL and the famous Route 66 attraction, the Gemini Giant. We then followed Route 66 to Pontiac, IL. A very fun trip.

Thank maryP2565DU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 27, 2017

We came to the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie for two reasons. Obviously, the first was to see the buffalo (or bison). But just like when I'm scuba diving, you don't always see a whale shark or a ray or a turtle on each dive, you won't always see the buffalo, since they do move around and it is a large area. The staff at the office does their best to help you find them by pointing out where the buffalo have been sighted that day. But who says that they can't lumber off to another spot. The visitor center is nicely set up with plenty of parking. The exhibits and the prairie and the buffalo are quite interesting and our grandkids really enjoyed it. They also have clean and well-kept restrooms in the visitor center. While there, you can also check for many of the educational exhibits and tours that they offer. The other thing that we did come for was a national park pass. A pass is your family's ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free. At the end of August 2017, they are substantially going up in price, so we decided to take advantage and obtain the passes for future visits to the federal areas. The staff was very friendly and made sure that we got the correct type of passes.

1  Thank Allen21096
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 26, 2017

Great educational and relaxing place. So nice to see the prairie restoration. Lots of information at the visitors center. We very much enjoyed walking the trails. Saw several different species of birds. Very tranquil and relaxing seeing the wild flowers! Visitors center has identity guides. there are picnic tables at the trail heads. Washrooms at the visitors center and porta poddies at the parking area for trails. We were looking for someplace to take the Grandkids. We will be back without them too!

Thank Rojan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed July 25, 2017

I love this place. It's amazing how the restoration of the prairie is going and I love to attend various tours and lectures that Midewin holds. There are beautiful sunrises and sunsets here as well as lots of peaceful and solitary trails. The bison are fun to see as well and I usually see great birds here as well. They have bicycle tours, walking tours and car tours so anyone and everyone who's interested can participate in whichever type of tour they like.

Thank Janet K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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