Millions of birds migrate north each spring. Here’s how to see the action within a couple of hours …

millions of birds migrate north each spring heres how to see the action within a couple of hours of chicago while you hike b

A millennia of water erosion contributed to this park’s dramatic topography of deep ravines and towering bluffs that Native Americans once traversed in lieu of negotiating the rugged lowlands. Drive and stop often along the north-south blacktop road with access to small parking spots, picnic tables and paths to four observation decks that reveal the park’s grandeur. (The bluff-top wooden decks especially captivate photographers with their commanding views of the lazy Mississippi River.) As you wander toward one of these, Lookout Point, listen for the loud, tea-kettle-like whistling of the Carolina wren. Also, a yellow-bellied sapsucker may be drumming on a tree trunk. Although the park’s terrain is hardly gentle, it’s rewarding for hikers, hobby botanists and birders alike. On the Sentinel Trail, for example, you’ll find 3-foot-tall ferns, carpets of brilliant wildflowers, including the rare ill-scented Trillium, and Acadian flycatchers with their distinctive two-note song. www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/MississippiPalisades.aspx

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