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FOREST PRESERVES + Natural areas

leroy oakEs forest preserve

FEATURES: 42 ACRES | LeRoy Oakes is made-up of a high-quality prairie, woodland, and Ferson Creek, which meanders through the preserve. In addition, contained within the preserve is a true prairie relic (the Murray prairie), various restorations (including the Bob Horlock area), flood plain forests, seeps, oak woodlands and grassy fields. The only native colony of Speckled Alder is growing here. Amenities include bike & nature trails, camping, fishing, historic sites, horseback riding, picnic areas, and shelters.

St. Charles

Delnor Woods Park

FEATURES: 42 ACRES | A native oak-hickory woodland with century-old trees plus native plantings, interpretive signage, fishing opportunities, picnic pavilions, paved pathways, and a dam with a small waterfall.

St. Charles

Ferson Creek Fen

FEATURES: 46 ACRES | An Illinois State Nature Preserve, this premier wetland has a sedge meadow, boardwalk, fen with rare plants, walking trails, floodplain woods, and prairie restoration.

St. Charles

Hickory Knolls Natural Area

FEATURES: 131 ACRES | An Illinois Land & Water Reserve, this large and extremely diverse landscape environment features restored woodlands, wetlands, prairie and savanna areas with a picnic pavilion and walking trails.

St. Charles

Kingswood Wetland

FEATURES: 5 ACRES | A mature woodland dominated by Maple and Oak with trails.

St. Charles

Majestic Oaks wetland

FEATURES: 12.5 ACRES | A mature woodland dominated by Maple and Oak with trails

St. Charles

Norris Woods

FEATURES: 73 ACRES | Designated as an Illinois State Nature Preserve, this outstanding red oak forest with a wide diversity of wildflowers and a gravel biking trail and a model restored stream channel.

St. Charles

Otter Creek bend wetland park

FEATURES: 69 ACRES | A model, restored wetland with interpretive signage, gravel walking trail system, creek bridge, and stone overlook.

St. Charles

Persimmon Woods

FEATURES: 30 ACRES | A unique upland swamp with adjacent marshy wetlands and a white oak wooded enclave with trails.

St. Charles

lippold Park

FEATURES: Located directly on the Fox River Trail, this beautiful park boasts beautiful wooden paths that seem to float just above the surface of the ponds.  There's even a nature playground for the kiddos, a shelter, and several picnic tables!


Red oak nature center

FEATURES: Nestled on the east bank of the Fox River in Batavia, Red Oak Nature Center is the region’s premier facility for nature and conservation education. Surrounded by more than 40 acres of lush forest and wildlife habitat, the nature center is the ideal destination for anyone with a desire to discover more about the great outdoors. Follow the Fox River Trail down to the river’s edge to explore the Chicagoland area’s only known cave – a true gem of the Fox Valley!


Fabyan FOrest Preserve

FEATURES: Situated along the Fox River, Fabyan Forest Preserve boasts over 4 miles of paved trails, a Japanese Garden, and Windmill that is available for tours (both open seasonally).


Gunnar Anderson FOrest Preserve

FEATURES: Located behind the Kane County Government Buildings, this is where you will find the beautiful Sacred Heart Seminary Shrine (also known as the 'Geneva Grotto') when you hike south from the Government Building's parking lot.


peck farm park

FEATURES: With five different paths varying in length, and all connecting to make for a longer route, there are plenty of scenic views here!  Natural prairie, beautiful native wildflowers, and even a large lake to gaze at! Hawk's Hallow Nature Playground is open year round and the water feature is on from Memorial Day to Labor Day (have kiddos bring swimsuits and watershoes)!


blackhawk waterfall

FEATURES: Shallow watery area with a beautiful little waterfall.  Wear watershoes as you can play in the water!  Park off of Route 31and walk west down the path for 2 minutes.  It will be on your right side!

south elgin

pratt's wayne woods

FEATURES: Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve is the largest forest preserve in the county. It offers great fishing and a place to fly model planes and is home to the Brewster Creek Marsh Nature Preserve. The preserve is located on the outwash plain of the West Chicago Moraine. Made up largely of wetlands, this landscape combines calcium-rich water with wet sandy soil to support plant life more commonly seen near Lake Michigan.


dorothea weigand riverfront park

FEATURES: Trails and a canoe launch. Bring water shoes to wade in the river!


Blackwell Forest Preserve

Main Dr, Warrenville, IL 60555

FEATURES: The 1,366-acre Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville is one of the District's most popular forest preserves and has been repeatedly voted among the best in the western suburbs. It offers fishing, camping, archery, picnic shelters, an off-leash dog area and more. You can walk, jog, bike, cross-country ski or ride horseback on most trails at Blackwell.


Snowy Night

We do the legwork so you can spend less time SEARCHING and more time DOING.

A LOCAL'S GUIDE to St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia, Illinois

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