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Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie self-guided tours are just a screen-tap away

Two me pointing at maps on a table
Midewin Volunteer Tom Coyne (left) and Midewin Archaeologist and Heritage Program Manager Joe Wheeler show the guide that they produced that describes the remains of prairie farmsteads. Midewin visitors can now access the guide, as well as other self-guided tours, maps and more, on a smart phone. USDA Forest Service photo by Veronica Hinke.

ILLINOIS – As part of the Forest Service's commitment to increasing public access to our national forests and grasslands, the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie launched the Midewin app for smartphones and tablets in coordination with national implementation of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9). The public can now experience the prairie at their own pace during self-guided tours, with online guides and interpretive maps just a tap away on enabled handheld devices.

The Midewin On-cell mobile app is accessible here, and offers the public downloadable information, maps and guides as well as instructions for discovering notable points and sites. The navigation feature allows users to locate their position via GPS, in relation to popular sites like the Iron Bridge Trailhead and Prairie Farmstead remains.

Information in the app includes topics like the incredible prairie farm legacy of Midewin, who lived there, and what life was like for them. The self-guided interpretive walk through the remains of the prairie farmsteads include nine stops at spots like the silo, the corn crib, the milk house and more.

Information about the Iron Bridge Trailhead area is also available through the app, explaining what a “living fence” is and what's so special about the Iron Bridge. In addition to the Iron Bridge and Midewin, the app also includes hunting maps as well as information about the Welcome Center, River Road, Wauponsee trailheads and more.

The online guide to Midewin prairie farmsteads is accessible here. Trail maps are available in English and Spanish on the Midewin website and can be downloaded and printed or viewed on a smart phone or tablet. Printed copies of the prairie farmstead guide and trail maps are also available in the Midewin Welcome Center and at the trailheads in limited amounts.


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