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Theodore Marsh

Preserve History

The 288-acre Theodore Marsh was acquired between 1994 and 2009.

The preserve is part of the Rock Run preservation system, which conserves more than 1,450 acre

A 140-acre portion of the site was registered as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve in 2003. This registration provides permanent protection for the preserve's natural resources.



Natural Resources

Theodore Marsh protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, prairie, wetland and a portion of Rock Run.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes more than 100 bird species, such as the pie-billed grebe.

The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including velvety white vervain, smooth blue aster and marsh bellflower.

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

The preserve's restoration began in 2000 with the removal of fill that had been dumped into the wetlands and the creation of upland prairie and wetland on more than 120 acres. 

Amenities and Activities


Theodore Marsh provides access to the 11.24-mile, paved Rock Run Greenway Trail, ideal for the following activities:

  • Biking
  • Hiking/Running
  • In-Line Skating
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing

The preserve also provides access to the 4.36-mile, paved Joliet Junction Trail, ideal for the following activities:

  • Biking
  • Hiking/Running
  • In-Line Skating
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing

The Rock Run Greenway Trail and Joliet Junction Trail connect to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ crushed limestone I&M Canal State Trail to provide a 16-mile, mostly paved loop trail.


The preserve offers one picnic shelter for rental, Gaylord Road Access Shelter (perrmit capacity of 60 people). Learn more about picnic permits and fees.


The preserve features a playground. Learn more about the District’s playgrounds.


Permits are available for geocaching at this preserve. Learn more about geocaching permits.


Theodore Marsh is located on Gaylord Road, north of Theodore Street in Crest Hill.





On Social Media

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