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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)!
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!
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.
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.