Biking the Drive, Memorial Day weekend fishing, just out: WWW Chicago outdoors

SHARE Biking the Drive, Memorial Day weekend fishing, just out: WWW Chicago outdoors

Starved Rock State Park file photo.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

I already had a great day of wandering yesterday with John Vukmirovich, checking out various sites south of the city. We were looking at the beginnings of an edible trail in Aroma Park, but ended up all over the place.

A good day.

And this forecast for the Memorial Day weekend looks like a lot of good days to be outside for a Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

As for myself, this weekend will include working on that edible trail this morning; some basic gardening stuff, which may or may not fit under the outdoors umbrella; fishing a pond in memory of Norm Minas (if I can find the pond); and wading the Kankakee for my first time this year.

We shall see.

With that, on to some general suggestions for Wild Weekend Wandering.

BIKE THE DRIVE: I have never done this, though I always thought it looked cool. Bike the Drive is Sunday. The novelty of it intrigues me, but the reality is that I much prefer using the lakefront trail. All the same, it is probably something I should do some day.

STARVED ROCK: If headed toward Starved Rock State Park, be aware it will be even crazier than usual for the Memorial Day weekend with the Route 178 bridge project. If coming from Chicago area, get off at Ottawa, then come west on Rt. 71. I happen to love that drive and do it routinely as a way to set the tone for a Starved Rock Visit.

For parking and other updates over the holiday at Starved Rock and Matthiessen SP, check the IDNR Facebook and Twitter accounts or tune in 1610 AM.

FISHING:With the heat, I highly suggest morning, evening and night. For yourself as much as anything else. I will be following my own advice

CHAIN: As of this morning, the Fox River and the Chain O’Lakes remained no-wake from the Algonquin dam to the Wisconsin line. I will update as needed. By the way, no-wake times can make for some of the best fishing on the Chain Click here to check updates.

MUSKIE: Most who are doing this are probably already headed north, but muskie season opens Saturday in northern Wisconsin.

WILD ASPARAGUS:I am finding lots of wild asparagus now, but it is nearly all bolted. Not that anyone was picking ahead, just that Mother Nature got ahead of me.

MORELS:Believe it or not I am still getting some notes on people finding morels.

PERCH REMINDER:Perch fishing on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River system and the Calumet River is closed through June 15.

MIDEWIN: The seasonal guided hikes at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie run weekends through October. The Ranger Trailer is open for the weekends, weather permitting, at the Iron Bridge Trailhead.

Throughout the season, you can talk to volunteer rangers at the Ranger Trailer from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. During April, check updates–at or on Twitter at @MidewinNatTP –on whether, depending on weather, the Ranger Trailer will be operating.

Trails are open daily, 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Come out and explore. #ItsAllYours! For the full list of 2018 programs, activities and events at Midewin, see:

ZOO TURNS 150: The Lincoln Park Zoo, a major family favorite for us, turns 150 and the exhibit, From Swans to Science: 150 Years of Lincoln Park Zoo, runs through the summer.

Click here for details and much more information.

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