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Hickory Creek Preserve - Hickory Creek Barrens
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Pre-register today for a free family bike ride and festival at Hickory Creek Barrens in New Lenox on October 4! View more information.
The District is performing bridge and trail repairs on the Hickory Creek Bikeway in Mokena in 2014. View more information.
Recycle your used clothes, shoes, towels, and bedding with the Forest Preserve and USAgain! View more information.
Preservation

The 1,541-acre Hickory Creek Preserve was acquired between 1942 and 2010.

The preserve is part of the Hickory Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,000 acres of land.

The preserve is the District's largest individual preserve, and the majority of the land was acquired for a regional stormwater reservoir which was never constructed. This access area features the New Lenox Historical Society's historic one-room Schmuhl School.

A 559-acre portion of the site was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1998. This dedication provides permanent protection for the natural resources at the preserve.

Hickory Creek Barrens is one of three access areas to the preserve. The other access areas are Hickory Creek Junction and LaPorte Road Access, both in Mokena.

Natural Resources

Hickory Creek Barrens protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, prairie, savanna, wetland, and a portion of Hickory Creek.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes more than 50 bird species, such as the pileated woodpecker, yellow rumped warbler, brown creeper, and hermit thrush.

The nature preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including the largest population of the state-threatened savanna blazing star in Illinois, as well as the federally-threatened Meadís milkweed.

The site is managed with invasive species control, prescribed burning, and community restoration to protect and enhance its natural resources. Learn more about the Districtís land management activities.

Due to the sensitivity of the site's natural resources, dogs are not allowed in the nature preserve.

Amenities and Activities

Trails

Hickory Creek Barrens provides access to the 3.68-mile, paved western segment of the Hickory Creek Bikeway, ideal for the following activities:Hickory Creek Barrens also provides access via street routes to the 21-mile Old Plank Road Trail, a paved trail ideal for the following activities:Download a map and guide to the Old Plank Road Trail.

Picnicking

Hickory Creek Barrens offers one picnic shelter for rental, Hickory Creek Barrens Shelter, with a permit capacity of 60 people. Learn more about picnic permits and fees.

Download a map of the amenities at Hickory Creek Preserve.

Programs and Events

Hickory Creek Barrens is home to the annual "Cruise the Creek" family bike ride and festival in October. View a video from the 2012 event on our YouTube Channel.

In addition, volunteer workdays are held throughout the year to assist in management of the siteís natural resources. View upcoming programs and events.
Hickory Creek Barrens Landscape
Photograph Courtesy of Mary T. Strand
Location
Hickory Creek Preserve - Hickory Creek Barrens is located on Schoolhouse Road, north of Route 30/Lincoln Highway in New Lenox.

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For Information
815.727.8700
Hours
Sunrise-Sunset
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Gallery Category: Cruise the Creek 2013
Recreational Activities
Biking
Cross-Country Skiing
Hiking/Running
In-Line Skating
Picnicking
Snowshoeing
Wildlife Viewing
Maps & Brochures
Hickory Creek Preserve Map
Upcoming Events
Preserves
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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
815.727.8700 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Weekdays
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