The magic hedge

The fence surrounding the magic hedge (Credit: Celia Her City)

The magic hedge is one of Chicago’s great natural treasures.  It’s a fenced-off piece of land that juts out into Lake Michigan, capping a promontory in a large lakefront park.

Red-leaved path in the Magic Hedge (Credit: Celia Her City)

The magic hedge is a secret place—a seemingly neglected, hidden-away treasure crisscrossed by a network of hard-beaten paths.  In reality a mature bird sanctuary, it’s a place where birds and humans go to be happy.

Blasted tree (Credit: Celia Her City)

The magic hedge isn’t manicured.  It feels wild and remote: a jumbled welter of beaten-down prairie plants and wind-blasted trees.

Leading to lake (Credit: Celia Her City)

Yet wander its paths, and you will be treated to some unexpected views.


Lake grasses (Credit: Celia Her City)

Northern vista (Credit: Celia Her City)

To the north, the magic hedge gives onto a renaturalized sand dune.  Beyond the dune is a dog run and a breakwater where people come to fish.

Figures in the dune (Credit: Celia Her City)

Here, you can almost forget that you are anywhere near the city.  The distances are so great you can forget about the city and its noise.

Along the north side of the hedge (Credit: Celia Her City)

Yet this part of the park gives beautiful views of the beaches and high-rises that line the northern portion of Lake Shore Drive.  The historic old Edgewater Hotel is pink.


The magic hedge is a gateway to perspective, a place to recall the immensity of nature and the true magnificence of the city’s native setting.

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