“the only “quaking” bog in Illinois”
Forty-five miles northwest of Chicago in Lake County, Volo Bog is the only “quaking” bog in Illinois. The bog is a registered National Natural Landmark and a dedicated nature preserve. Picnicking, hiking, and cross country skiing are offered at the site. There is an abundance of unique plants and wildlife that can be seen in Volo Bog. Volo Bog State Natural Area is home to Illinois' only remaining open-water quaking bog. A gift of the Wisconsin Glacier, Volo Bog began forming in a kettle hole lake over 6,000 years ago. A floating mat of vegetation encroached from the lake edges toward the center. The initial plant community included sphagnum mosses and sedges. As these plants died, they did not decompose but formed a floating substrate of peat from which more plants grew. As the mat thickened, it supported larger plants such as cranberry, leatherleaf and poison sumac. Deciduous tamarack pines gained a foothold as the mat thickened to support their increasing weight. Highbush blueberry, the carnivorous pitcher plant and several orchids also make their home in Volo Bog. Today, five plant communities encircle a half-acre pond like a target. The pond has no true bottom; suspended peat thickens toward the bottom of the old kettle hole 50+ feet below. A 1/2 mile trail including a wooden boardwalk loops through all the stages of bog succession to overlook the center pond.
Just one hour trip from Chicago, Volo Bog State Natural Area becomes a destination for relaxing.
Surrounded by nature you can hide away from everyone, sit by the pond and clean up your mind. This place is serene and you feel obliged to keep quiet and respect what nature created there.
If you wish to be informed about how everything happened simply ask the staff and you will immediately know.
Go to this place any time of year. In the fall the tamarack trees change color and drop their needles. They have a "Winterfest" every year that a friend and I have gone to for the past 6 years or so.
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Volo Bog State Natural Area
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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