Patch Image

Points of Interest
For all Indian Portage Trails

  1. SITE of one of three original French forts built 300 years ago to protect French fur traders and territories. Cannon balls have been found in this area.
  2. FATHER MARQUETTE AND JOLIET camped at fort the winter of 1673-74 on their trip up the Mississippi, returning through the Illinois, DesPlaines, and Chicago Rivers. Exact lay-out of fort is in the design of the patch.
  3. ARCHER AVE., named for Col. Archer, builder of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, was used as n alternate to the Chicago Portage Trail.
  4. RT. 83, (Buffalo Trail), was major trail across DesP laines River.
  5. 107th ST., Ausagananhkee Trail, was main Indian trail. South side of Mt. Forest had many Indian villages.
  6. KENTUCKY COFFEE TREE, bitter beans were ground as a coffee substitute.
  7. HILL of sandy .groundhog. clay on top of a dust dune was deposited by the last glacier, acts as a sponge for rain and snow.
  8. SYCAMORE TREES have peeled, multicolored bark, large leaves, and seed balls.
  9. SIGNAL STATIONS, marked (+) on map, Indian villages had a series of high grounds in sight of each other to send messages.
  10. In WATERFALL GLENN FOREST PRESERVE, a deep cut natural rock formation acts as drainage area, from glacial period to present.
  11. ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, used to develop atomic power.
  12. NURSERY RUINS.originally part of the community of Athens.
  13. RUINS OF ATHENS, site of canal workers' homes. Now Federal land.
  14. ARTESIAN WELL, strong iron taste, but drinkable. Supplied water for the workers.
  15. QUARRIES of limestone, flag stone,and Athens marble. In 1848, Nathenial Brown rented two sites for $100 each day and worked one himself.
  16. DESPLAINES RIVER, called .Sheskikmaoshike Sepe., the river of the trees from which water flows, by the Pottawatomie Indians. Some former names are: St. Lawrence R., Chicago R., Illinois R., Plain R., AuxPlaines R., and finally the DesPlaines River.
  17. CHICAGO SANITARY AND SHIPPING CANAL, started in 1895 and opened in 1901.
  18. CAL-SAG, used as water supply for Shipping Canal, then built as canal by the Chicago Sanitary District.
  19. I & M SHIPPING CANAL, started-1820, completed-1838. 100 mi. from Chicago to Peru, tow path for oxen to pull barges.
  20. TRUCK ROAD, use if you do not wish to cross #21, cable bridges. Walk to Archer Ave., pick up trail on Rt. 83.
  21. POLE & CABLE BRIDGE. STOP AT THIS POINT TO CROSS AS GROUP. Hand cables may be down due to vandalism. USE CAUTION!
  22. CABLE BRIDGES, use stepping stones and cable when water is low.
  23. ST. JAMES CHURCH, founded in 1837, made of Athens marble from local quarry. Exceptionally beautiful view.
  24. ST. JAMES of Indian village, chipping station, signal stations, Indian burial grounds, olderst white settlers' cemetery.
  25. SAG BRIDGE HALL, first town hall for area. Still in use.
  26. INDIAN CAMP, commanded the principal approaches of the Chicago and Calumet Portages.
  27. INDIAN CHIPPING STATION.used in 1846 Alex Reis found flint implements, stone tools and axes. To fill a bushel.
  28. INDIAN SIGNAL STATION.used to transmit messages by light and smoke.
  29. CAL-SAG BRIDGE. Stop at middle of bridge. The valley below was once occupied by the great glacial river, one of two great streams draining Lake Michigan during the Ice Age. The big bridge to the north goes over the channel of the other stream. The two streams met in the valley just west and passed together down through the Illinois River to the Mississippi River.
  30. ROAD to abandoned Country Club. When the glacier covering this area melted, the water flowed into Lake Michigan, the 640 ft. contour on the map. This flooded all of what is now Chicago and also the Sag Valley and the DesPlaines R. Valley on each side of this high ground. Then at the 620 ft. contour, the lake water flowed through this valley and the DesPlaines River Valley.
  31. AUDAGANANASHEE TRAIL, original name for 107th St. Trail's name was given to the slough, (Saganashee). After the Ice Age, this valley bred mosquitoes. Malaria was a great obstacle to the development of the canals.
  32. SITE of original Argonne Laboratory for atomic research, build in 1943.
  33. ATOMIC WASTE, burial site. Read plaque.
  34. BULL FROG LAKE, man-made lake.
  35. MAPLE LAKE, MAN-MADE. Concessions on west shore in season.
  36. ESKER TRAIL, located on glacial ridge called an esker.
  37. OLD COUNTRY LANE.closed to traffic. Was 99th Avenue.
  38. LONG JOHN SLOUGH.Wildlife Refuge. Large concentrations of water fowl and shorebirds, including ducks, geese, and egrets. Birds use this and neighboring sloughs during migration periods.
  39. LITTLE REDSCHOOL HOUSE and Nature Trails, maintained by Forest Preserve District.
  40. WILLOW SPRING, formerly called Forest Spring and Spring Forest. First house built in 1842 by George W. Beele.
  41. INDIAN CAMPING AREA. First site of Camp Kiwanis.
  42. CAMP KAWANIS. First site is being returned to nature.
  44. SPRING OF WILLOW TREE.source of fresh water in early days.
  45. BEAVER FLOODED AREA. 95th St., raised in 1972 because of constant flooding due to beavers' dams.
  46. PASSAGE under Rt. 45.built for bridal path.
  47. OLD CEMETERY.many graves of early settlers.
  48. ABANDONED FARM FIELDS and foundations from early settlers.
  49. OLD SACRED HEART CHURCH. STOP FOR VIEW. Imagine Indian villages from St. James Church east 5 or 6 miles, the valley of the Sag. West of the church the valley slope to the south is stepped down to the valley level. When Lake Michigan overflowed after the Ice Age a great river, one mile wide, flowed through this valley flooding it to within 10 ft. of the hilltop. The current in the river cut this slope,depositing the gravel in the grvel pit to the west as a sand bar. Later the water level dropped about 20 ft. and cut the lower Tolleston Stage slope to the south.
  50. SPRING. Fresh water, main supply for Indians, French, early travelers, and settlers. Still active and pure. Please Do Not Drink or Pollute.
  51. SAND DUNE.destroyed by farming. Formed by Lake Michigan winds several thousand years ago. The big gravel put east of Rt. 45 was formed as the river went around a bend. In the wastelands south of the Cal-Sag canal, cottonwood and ash trees grow among the rocks.
  54. INDIAN PORTAGE ROUTE. Direct route to Indiana and Michigan.
  55. WINTER PLAY AREA. Formerly Meumann Farm, 1923. bank swallows and kingfishers nested in the sandy clay face of Swallow Cliff, west of Rt. 45.
  56. WHITE PINES, planted in the 20's, at Swallow Cliff Picnic Area.
  59. MAJOR SPRING.fresh water for early settlers and Indians.
  60. EXCELLENT COMPASS AREA. Trail winds through wild, isolated area with fine scenery.
  61. and foundation of farm building. You have passed a foot trail to Esker. Shelter is on a hill called a KAME, formed by melted water from glacier which deposited its load of stones and sand in a tall, steep pile shaped like a cone.
  62. ESKER. MARKED BY HEAVY BLACK LINE, formed as glaciers melted, dropping rocks and gravel in a narrow row. Ice, over 1 mile thick, formed hills 60 ft. wide.
  63. ABANDONED property of Forest Preserves.
  65. ABANDONED LIMESTONE QUARRY.good place to find fossils. Ancient river, 100 Ft. deep, scoured valley down to bedrock. Rock here is dolomite, similar to limestone, common to the Chicago area. Rock is made of skeletons of sea animals that lived here 340 millions of years ago in the Silurian Age.
  66. BEAUTIFUL STONE FORMATIONS along Courage Creek. Camp Sagawau Outdoor Education Center.has stream which cut canyon through limestone. Not open to the public.
  67. RESEARCH AREA and Camp Ground. Closed to the Public.
  68. LEMONT, French for .the mountain., settled in 1843.
  69. LEMONT SPRINGS.formerly town's major source of water.
  70. MARSHES. As untouched by man as possible.
  71. MOUTH OF STONY CREEK, meanders throughout southwest Chicago, Mt. Greenwood, and southern suburbs.
  72. OLD FARM foundations.look for rows of rocks, walkways, old foundations. All are signs of man's civilization.
  73. SITE of first Little Red School House. Information on sign.
  74. ORIGINAL CARRIAGE ROAD to first Little Red School House.
  75. DYNAMITE ROAD, used to store dynamite for canal work.
  76. BEELINE BOG, downhill from the White Pines, was a lake over 100 years ago. It was drained by a farmer, Tom Ravine.
  77. SAGANASHKEE SLOUGH was a swamp before being dammed of for flood control and fishing.
  79. WATERFALL GLENN Camping Information. DuPage County Office.
  80. CROSS COUNTRY, 300 ft. to railroad embankment service road, north side.
  81. SAG BRIDGE COMMUNITY (Note name on building entrance to St. James Church). First names Aux. Plain.
  82. TOMAHAWK SLOUGH.bog plants growing here. Closest to the shore you will find arrowleaf; further out you will find cattails; in the deep water you will find pond weed and algae. Use your Scout Handbook to identify them.