Whether you are wanting to see birds or wildflowers—or even some unusual geological features and rare habitat—you’ll find many nature-based surprises any time of the year when you visit the 316-acre Grand Calumet River Conservation Area.
This isn't just one spot, but several restored sites along the Grand Calumet River.
A 3.3-mile trail (round trip) traverses a mosaic of habitats, including a globally rare natural community known as dune and swale and connects properties owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy and several partners. You access TNC's property by entering through Seidner Dune & Swale Nature Preserve, owned and managed by the Shirley Heinze Land Trust.
Impressive wildflowers such as wild blue lupine, blazing stars and gentians are on display at various times during the growing season, and great white egrets, and green and blue herons frequent the river and wetlands.
Double-crested cormorants, trumpeter swans and hooded mergansers are periodically seen up and down the river, while bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, Caspian terns and osprey hunt from above. If you are lucky, you might even hear rarely seen soras or least bitterns.
Aquatic creatures such as chorus frogs and Blanding’s turtles are also returning due to ongoing restoration efforts by the Conservancy and its partners.