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Natural Areas

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  • The Brownlee Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve in Mercer County is a 1 .4-acre remnant of mesic black soil prairie. Dedicated in 1982, the Brownlee Cemetery dates back to 1 842 when Thomas and Anne Bro...
  • Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Mississippi River at the border of Illinois and Iowa. The refuge is east of Wapello, in Louisa County, Iowa and in Mercer County, Illinois....
  • Seep of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division....
  • Piney Creek Ravine State Natural Area is an Illinois state park on 198 acres (0.80 km2) in Jackson and Randolph Counties, Illinois, United States....
  • Braidwood Dunes and Savanna is a remnant of dry-mesic sand savanna, mesic and wet mesic sand prairie, sedge meadow and marsh representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natur...
  • The Department also strives to provide hunting opportunities when the resource allows. The Bradford Habitat Area was purchased with revenues generated through the sale of the Illinois Habitat Stamp. T...
  • Bonnie's Prairie contains the only sand pond protected as a nature preserve in east-central Illinois. The site encompasses a high-quality sand pond and wet sand prairie characteristic of the Kankakee ...
  • This area is managed by the Department and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission as a high-quality mesic upland forest, dry-mesic upland forest, wet floodplain forest and grassland area within the...
  • Bluff Spring Fen (the Fen) is a 100 acre Illinois Nature Preserve in Elgin, Illinois named for it’s rich, calcareous fens. These rare wetlands are fed by springs coming up through the ground bringin...
  • Black Partridge Woods in Cook County was one of the first dedicated nature preserves in Illinois. The river bluffs, ravine forests, and spring-fed streams represent communities typical of the Morainal...
  • The Birkbeck Pheasant Habitat Area, purchased with the revenue generated from the Illinois Habitat Stamp, provides high quality permanent habitat for ring-necked pheasants and hunting opportunities fo...
  • Beall Woods State Park is Illinois state park on 635 acres (257 ha) bordering the Wabash River and Keensburg in Wabash County, Illinois in the United States. 329 acres (133 ha) of the state park is ...
  • Banner Marsh State Fish and Wildlife Area is an Illinois state park covering 4,363 acres (1,766 ha) in Fulton County, Illinois, United States....
  • The Bald Knob Wilderness is a 5,973-acre (24.2 km²) parcel of land listed as a Wilderness Area of the United States. It is, by acreage, the largest wilderness area located within the U.S. state of Il...
  • Apple River Canyon State Park is an Illinois state park on 297 acres (1.2 km²) in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, USA. The land for the park was purchased by the state in 1932 and preserves the canyo...
  • Dry-mesic upland forest and mesic upland forest of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division....
  • Mermet Swamp contains original vegetation once typical of the Bottomland Section and Cretaceous Hill Section of the Coastal Plain Natural Division. The preserve is a level, wooded, bottomland swamp, w...
  • Marais d'Osier, meaning willow swamp, was the original French name given to the area in the early 1800's. At that time, the dissected uplands supported both mesic and dry oak-hickory forests, while we...
  • The Meredosia National Wildlife Refuge is a 5,255-acre (21.27 km2) national wildlife refuge located along the Illinois River in Cass County and Morgan County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The refuge ...
  • Mehl's Bluff occurs on a deeply dissected bluff bordering the Mackinaw River in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. This diverse site contains upland forest, floodplain fo...
  • Dry mesic upland forest and northern flatwoods of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division....
  • La Rue Swamp in combination with the adjacent Pine Hills is one of the richest, most biologically diverse areas in Illinois. The Pine Hills/La Rue Swamp area contains 43% of all the plant species know...
  • The Lake Renwick Preserve is an 836-acre (3.38 km2) county forest preserve located in Will County, Illinois. It is the second largest county-owned nature preserve in Will County. The closest major to...
  • Lake-In-The-Hills Fen is a picturesque complex of morainal ridges, composed primarily of limestone gravel, which surround depressional areas that contain very high quality of wetlands....
  • Kishwaukee Fen is locally known as the Turnberry Wetlands. The ecological integrity of the fen is dependent upon the ground water supply from the surrounding uplands. The area surrounding the preserve...
  • This 57 acre preserve is typical of the forests found in the Rock River Valley at the prairie-forest border. It contains a spring-fed creek, upland forest, floodplain forest, and bedrock outcrops of t...
  • Built in 1968, the lake encompasses 2,750 acres. The ownership of the surrounding land is divided among the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which manages approximately 4,000 acres; the U.S. ...
  • The Kaskaskia River State Fish & Wildlife Area (KRFWA) is one of the largest state-owned and managed sites in Illinois. Located 35 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri, the area comprises more than ...
  • The Kankakee River is a tributary of the Illinois River, approximately 133 miles (214 km) long,[1] in northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois in the United States. At one time the river drained...
  • Jurgensen Woods is a remnant of the extensive woodlands and prairie ecosystems that formerly occurred on the sandy plains of glacial Lake Chicago. Surviving plant communities at Jurgensen Woods that a...
  • Knobeloch Woods contains dry-mesic upland and wet floodplain forest communities representative of the Effingham Plain Section of the Southeastern Till Plain Natural Division. The upland forest support...
  • Jubilee College Forest is located on the northeastern edge of the Galesburg Section of the Western Forest-Prairie Natural Division Significant natural communities include high quality mesic and dry- m...
  • This is a biologically significant stream of the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division.  This stretch of the stream harbors a rich assortment of mussels....
  • Johnson's Mound represents an outstanding example of a glacial kame which supports dry-mesic and mesic upland forest. It is classified as a till kame which formed during active glaciation rather than ...
  • A mosaic of mature forest land, agricultural land and grassland, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area is dissected by Panther and Cox creeks and their tributaries. In addition to 6,000 a...
  • This nature preserve is an example of an area dedicated primarily to maintain a population of an endangered animal. In Illinois, efforts to save the greater prairie chicken began in 1959 with the orga...
  • Howard's Hollow Seep is a 1 acre wetland opening nestled within extensive forested hills. The preserve occupies a dissected ravine formed by Willow Creek and the seep occurs on a broad, gentle, lower ...
  • Dolomite cliff and dry-mesic upland forest of the Freeport Section of the Rock River Hill County Natural Division. One threatened species occurs in the preserve....
  • Horseshoe Lake Nature Preserve contains diverse aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna and mature stands of bald cypress. The site is on the migration corridor of many waterfowl, as well as being an ...
  • This preserve is located adjacent to the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River. This region of Illinois is characterized by a rugged topography and beech-maple forests which are present in the ravines al...
  • Hooper Branch Savanna is a large sand savanna representative of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. It is situated at the edge of former Glacial Lake Watseka formed a...
  • Mesic prairie, wet-mesic prairie, wet prairie, mesic sand prairie and marsh of the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. Four endangered or threatened species occur in the ...
  • This pioneer prairie is dominated by big bluestem, little bluestem and Indian grass. Prairie forbs include sky-blue aster, leadplant, wild bergamot and purple prairie clover. This mesic prairie is in ...
  • The Department of Natural Resources is responsible for providing outdoor recreation opportunities for residents of Illinois. Of particular concern is providing safe hunting areas on public lands throu...
  • Heron Pond – Little Black Slough Nature Preserve is a parcel of protected wetland property located approximately 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Vienna in Johnson County, Illinois. It is a National Natu...
  • Henderson County Conservation Area, which includes Gladstone Lake, offers a variety of recreational facilities. The 27-acre lake has a shoreline of 1.5 miles and a maximum depth of 25 feet. The area, ...
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  • Heidecke Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is an Illinois state park on 1,300 acres (526 ha) in Grundy County, Illinois, United States. It is an artificial cooling pond excavated to enable the operati...
  • The Green River State Wildlife Area is a wildlife restoration area popular among hunters, hikers, birders and other outdoor enthusiasts. Topography of the 2,565-acre area varies from flat to gently ro...
  • The Great River National Wildlife Refuge protects approximately 11,600 acres (47 km2) along 120 miles (190 km) of the Mississippi River, stretching north of St. Louis, Missouri. Three separate units a...
  • The Nature Preserve is located 12 miles northwest of Carlinville, 4 miles northeast of Palmyra, Illinois, in Macoupin County.The hunting area consists of 40 acres. The entire acreage consists of rolli...
  • Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve consists of 532 acres of uplands and includes woodland, prairie and glade communities. It has the largest complex of high quality loess hill prairies in Illinois....
  • Franklin Creek State Natural Area is located in Lee County, one mile northwest of the village of Franklin Grove and eight miles east of Dixon just north of Illinois Route 38. The beautiful Franklin Cr...
  • Fourth Lake Fen is a large wetland complex with high-quality calcareous floating mat, sedge meadow and marsh, representative of the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. The...
  • Fern Rocks is a 170 acre preserve within Giant City State Park. The area contains high quality dry and mesic upland forest, cliff and bedrock outcrops of the Greater Shawnee Hills Section of the Shawn...
  • Skokie River Nature Preserve is comprised of wetlands, mesic and wet-mesic prairies and woodlands situated along both sides of the Skokie River. These plant communities are remnants of the large expan...
  • Sibley Grove is a mesic savanna and wetland complex that is the best remaining example of a mesic savanna, pond, marsh, and prairie complex in east-central Illinois. The grove of 185-390 year-old oak ...
  • Shelbyville State Fish and Wildlife Area is an Illinois state park on 6,200 acres (25.09 km2) in Moultrie County, Illinois, United States....
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  • There are good populations of deer, ducks, rabbit and squirrel on this area. Hunting other species is allowed during the statewide seasons....
  • Rend Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area is an Illinois state park on 38,900 acres (157.42 km2) in Franklin and Jefferson Counties, United States....
  • This site is located 5 miles southeast of DuQuoin; 1.5 miles east of DuQuoin on Route 14 - 2.5 miles south on crabapple road - 1 mile East on Jellybean Road....
  • The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) seeks preliminary approval for dedication of 40 acres of Calumet City Prairie as Calumet City Prairie and MarshNature Preserve. The proposed nature...
  • The Ray Norbut State Fish and Wildlife Area is a 1,140-acre (4.6 km²) state park located near Griggsville in Pike County, Illinois. It borders on the Illinois River and is primarily made of steeply s...
  • This site, and old oxbow of the Sangamon River, is one of the few remaining wetlands in Central Illinois. Like other wetlands, this area is characterized by several well defined plant communities char...
  • Bystricky Prairie was identified in 1986 as the only high quality black soil prairie left in McHenry County. The prairie represents the original vegetation of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Divisio...
  • Byler Cemetery Savanna is a high-quality savanna of the Galesburg Section of the Western Prairie-Forest Natural Division. It contains one of only several acres of high-quality savanna known to occur i...