Volo Bog State Natural Area, Ingleside

#2 of 8 in Wildlife in Lake County
Volo Bog State Natural Area is a nature reserve in Illinois, United States, preserving Volo Bog. The bog was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973 as the only remaining open-water quaking bog in Illinois. The site also contains woodlands, savanna, marshes, prairie restoration areas, shrubland and old fields. Maintained by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (Illinois DNR), the site is located about a mile west of U.S. Route 12 between the towns of Volo and Fox Lake, Illinois.
The bog itself is 47.5acre in size. It was originally a steep-sided lake created by the melting of a large chunk of glacial ice at the end of the Wisconsonian glaciation. About 6,000 years before the present, a mat of sphagnum moss began to grow out into the water, playing a major role in the evolution of this geological feature from a lake into a bog.
As the sphagnum mat aged and thickened, the developing bog (already poorly drained) became acidic. The bog's changing pH levels encouraged the growth of other acid-loving plant species, such as leatherleaf, certain specialized orchids, and coniferous tamarack trees. The development of a tamarack grove on the edge of the bog signaled further change in the wetland.
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Volo Bog State Natural Area reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
43 reviews
  • This is an amazing place -- a National Natural Landmark. It is the only open-water quaking bog in Illinois. Bogs are fed exclusively by rainwater and melting snow. Bogs that receive all their...  more »
  • I've visited this preserve many times and have always found it to be quiet and well-maintained. Several look-out points punctuate the trail around and through the bog, allowing for rest points...  more »
  • Illinois' only quaking bog is truly something worth seeing. The only problem is that their boardwalk, the only means of accessing the actual bog, is dilapidated and closed, as of late 2019. Until they get the funds to rebuild the old walk, the bog itself will remain largely inaccessible. There's also a loop that encircles the bog, but it pales in comparison to the boardwalk. I'd recommend checking this place out after they finish their repairs. In the meantime, if you still want to pay a visit, it might be worth checking out their nature center, or enjoy a quiet picnic on their grassy lawn.
  • Love this state park. Nothing quite like it anywhere. It has a unique floating walkway and very unique plants that grow only in acidic bog water conditions. There is a nice little natural museum there and you can join a number of activities and learn a lot about this area. Take the kids.

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