Finding the World’s First Nuclear Reactor
On my travels during Covid times, I have had to get creative. The bigger stuff isn’t open right now, so it’s about finding the stuff that maybe doesn’t make a splash in the Media anymore. Roadside attractions, creepy cemeteries, film locations, and then there’s just the really strange. This would fit that category hands down. Located deep in the Red Gate Woods, and found in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the entrance can be found off Archer Avenue. There is a small parking lot on the left, here is where I parked and then looked for more signs. The Woods are used more for recreation, biking and hiking and such. So you aren’t going to see billboards for the Reactor site, or “Site A” as it was known, probably because there was a lot of controversy around it. In fact, you wouldn’t even know something on this magnitude was ever there had you not just come across the signage in the parking lots and the Woods themselves. To get to the Reactor Site, take the path marked by the sign in the parking lot, which here’s a heads up, is a forest trail that was completely muddy and rocky. Basically, have good shoes on to get to this site. Once you get off the little path, head to the LEFT, and you are emptied onto a more public, and wider path which is UP HILL for about half a mile- seriously. My legs were burning when I finally got to the top. I was surrounded by Woods, beautiful and creepy all at the same time. I felt safe, but I would recommend doing this with another person. It is DEEP in the Woods, about a mile from the parking lot, and it was very, very quiet out there. I came across signage that took me the rest of the way, but one was a bit confusing. It’s a sign that’s about 50 feet from the Site, but I didn’t get which way to head from there. So I just stayed on the same path going straight from this, and that worked!Once you get past the trees and fields filled with flowers (an Instagrammers dream here) I found the large boulder and plaque which marked where the Nuclear Reactor once stood. Honestly it was a weird feeling thinking about what I was standing over, since they buried it back in 1954, and deemed it safe with clean-up efforts in the 1980s. It’s nothing flashy (well….), but it’s a piece of history that is fascinating to take a part in. Check it out if you find yourself in Cook County, Illinois. For more information, click HERE.
Donations for Content
Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!