Please Scroll Down for Current &Upcoming Happenings

  • Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Teams: Moraine Hills State Park & Volo Bog State Natural Area

  • Volunteer Veterans Conservation Corps

  • Of Bogs and Books: September, October and November 2020

  • Bird Walks

  • Shutterbugs of Volo Bog

  • Walk with a Naturalist

  • Tree and Shrub Sale - Fall 2020

  • Annual Photo Contest

  • Guided Private Tours

  • Run for the Hills - Virtual 1/2 Marathon

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Bird Walk Schedules

Volo Bog State Natural Area,

McHenry Dam & Chain-o-lakes

Bird Walk Flyer

Bird Walks at Volo Bog State Natural Area LNCI!   

Saturdays & Sundays      8:00 a.m.    Please reply to register or phone 815-344-1294

With prairie restorations, woodlands, old fields, marshes and of course Volo Bog itself, VBSNA affords birders the opportunity to see a variety of species - 193 species have been documented on site! Often several species are seen and heard even before even leaving the parking lot. Visit http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L322146 to explore our most recent sightings. Bring binoculars and field guides, or borrow from our leaders. Walk is approximately 3 miles and takes from 2 - 3+ hours with weather and luck in birding. Adults and attentive kids ages 6 and older are welcome. Meet in the main parking lot. Registration is requested at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov  Group size is limited - Walk-ins welcome if space allows but walk may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior. Co-sponsored, and led by members of, McHenry County Audubon. Visit www.McHenryAudubon.org

Photo Contest Entry Form

To Register, Contact:

Stacey Iwanicki @ dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or call 815-344-1294.

Group size will be limited to 15

Walks with a Naturalist at Volo Bog State Natural Area on Wednesdays                

10:00 am – 12:00 pm      Meet Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki in front of the Visitor Center         

*Discovering Deerpath & Prairie Ridge Trails: August 26; September 9, 23; October 14, 21

Seldom-travelled, Deerpath and Prairie Ridge Trails are across Brandenburg Road, traversing shrubland, transitional woods and prairie restoration areas. Discover some unique vegetation such as wafer ash, honey locust and hog peanut. A distant view of tamaracks in Pistakee Bog are a highlight.

 

*Trekking Tamarack View Trail: September 2, October 7

Named for Volo Bog’s hallmark tamarack trees seen off in the distance, TVT loops around the outer periphery of the bog through a variety of habitats including woodland, prairie, marsh, and even a small stream. 

 

*Volo Bog’s Golden Tamaracks Walks: October 29 & November 4

Venture into the heart of Volo Bog just as the Tamarack Trees reach their peak of golden glory! These deciduous conifers lose their needles each year but first give us a spectacular show.

All ages are welcome.  Registration is requested at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov   Group size is limited - Walk-ins welcome if space allows but walk may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior. We’ll be following COVID protocols so please bring your mask. Please dress for the weather with comfortable hiking shoes and a broad-brimmed hat. Bring (but do not pre-apply) insect repellent.

 

 

Walks with a Naturalist at Moraine Hills State Park/McHenry Dam on Thursdays            

10:00 am –12:00 pm      Meet Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki at locations noted.

*Whitetail Prairie – Hiking the grassy Nature Trail for a leisurely 1.5 miles: August 27, October 1

*Oak Opening – Lake Defiance Trail 3.7 miles so we’ll be getting our exercise!: September 3

*McHenry Dam – Fox River Trail; meet by trail head at south end of parking for 2.0 miles: September 10, October 8

*Northern Woods – We’ll do a turn-around hike for only 1.5 miles: September 24

*Pike Marsh for a leisurely 1.5 mile turn-around hike: October 22

October will focus on the ever-changing fall colors of the prairie & woods!

Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki will lead a discovery of the natural world around us as we wander along the trails practicing our observation skills and learning about the amazing biodiversity in our park. All ages are welcome!  Registration is requested at 815-344-1294 or dnr.volobog@illinois.gov  Group size is limited - Walk-ins welcome if space allows but walk may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior. We’ll be following COVID protocols so please bring your mask.  Please dress for the weather with comfortable hiking shoes and a broad-brimmed hat. Bring (but do not pre-apply) insect repellent.

Guided Tours of Volo Bog are resuming on a very limited basis.

Due to the deteriorated condition of stretches of the Volo Bog Boardwalk, the Volo Bog Interpretive Trail cannot be traversed as a loop. With the necessity to stay spatially distant, we are only allowing entry with an official Volo Bog Naturalist. Group size is limited to 14 people plus the official Naturalist. Masks must be worn for most of the tour.

  • September 6, 12, 13 , 19, 27

  • October 10, 17, 18, 31

  • November 1, 7, 14, 15, 21

  • December 12, 13, 19

  • More may be added.

  • Private Group Tours (7 – 14 people) by appointment. Phone 815-344-1294.

Volo Bog is an amazing ecosystem of rare ferns and mosses, floating trees and carnivorous plants. It is our state’s 25th designated Illinois Nature Preserve and a National Natural Landmark. Serving as an outdoor classroom for nearly 100 years, we just don’t want the people of Illinois to forget what a treasure we all have. Please visit our Friends of Volo Bog for updates on how you can help.

Tree and Shrub order form: