The cheerful chirp of a cricket. The sweet aroma of wildflowers. And is that a red-tailed hawk overhead?
The sights, sounds, and smells of the prairie are quintessentially American but can be hard to find these days. The family-friendly adventures available at Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin's own Chiwaukee Prairie are like no other. Located in the southeast corner of Pleasant Prairie along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Chiwaukee Prairie is over 400 acres of preserved land, officially recognized as a National Landmark. Designated as a wetland of international importance, it's an ecological gem. A rare opportunity to see a Midwestern landscape in its natural, untouched state, Chiwaukee Prairie is the perfect spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, and otherwise communing with the natural world.
A Natural Wonder, Waiting For You
Chiwaukee Prairie is a vital, thriving example of Wisconsin's natural heritage. An impressive display of biodiversity, the area includes grasslands, wetlands, shoreline, tall oaks, and even sand dunes. A precious ecosystem, Chiwaukee Prairie is home to adorable creatures like deer, frogs, butterflies, ground squirrels, and even the Blanding's Turtle. This rare turtle is an endangered species in Illinois but is often spotted in this unique patch of Wisconsin.
With the variety of winged friends abundant in the area, you are sure to discover your inner birdwatcher. Wetland areas are home to wood ducks, mallards, and herons. In the grasslands, you might spy a pheasant, turkey vulture, or sandhill crane. An important stopover for migratory birds, the land hosts different species throughout the year. Who knows what surprises are in store for you on your stroll? Each and every visit is one of a kind. For a list of potential birds you may see when visiting Chiwaukee Prairie, check out this list at ebird.org
In addition to the verdant spaces of Pleasant Prairie’s parks and gardens during the warmer months, photographers, gardeners, and plant lovers alike won't want to miss Chiwaukee Prairie's impressive range of native flora. More than 400 plant species are present, including endangered varieties such as the Eastern White Fringed Prairie Orchid. Flowers continuously bloom in a rainbow of colors throughout the spring, summer, and fall ― up to the first frost. In May, the prairie is a particularly captivating sight as pink and purple Shooting Stars flower across the fields. You may even spot a morel mushroom or two.
Enjoy The Shores of Lake Michigan
At the northernmost portion of the preserve, you will find the renowned Kenosha Sand Dunes. Here you can take advantage of sensational views of Lake Michigan on land free from development. It’s the perfect place to admire sailboats cruising between Chicago and Milwaukee. In our beloved Chiwaukee Prairie, you can relax and inhale deep breaths of fresh air as you escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. The wind in your hair, the sand at your feet, and not a care in the world. What on earth are you waiting for?
Chiwaukee Prairie is free and open to the public year-round, from sunup to sundown. Free parking is available on the surrounding streets.