The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

Current Headlines

Slow Your Roll to Help Keep Turtles Safe This Spring

Photo for: Slow Your Roll to Help Keep Turtles Safe This Spring

Painted turtle (Photo by Juanita Armstrong-Ullberg)

Spring has arrived and the warmer weather is on the horizon which means not only are more people going to be out and about on the trails, but so will turtles.

Not only does warmer weather increase their metabolism and require them to be more active in search of food, but they'll also be searching for a partner for mating season, which generally gets in full swing by mid-May.

So here's your annual reminder to not only be on the lookout for turtles, but be cautious when traveling around them. After all, they move slow while cars and bikes don't.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources advises against interfering with a turtle on a road or trail and recommends allowing the turtle to attempt to cross on its own if possible. If the situation calls for giving the turtle a hand, follow these bits of advice: 

  1. Do not endanger yourself or other people.
  2. If you do pick up a turtle, move it to the side of the road that the turtle was heading toward and let it go. With the exception of snapping turtles and softshell turtles, all turtles should be picked up along the edge of the shell near the middle of the body. 
  3. Snapping turtles and softshell turtles are aggressive and should be left alone. 
  4. When handling a turtle, you may be bitten, scratched or urinated on. Consider yourself warned.
  5. Never drop a turtle or pick it up by the tail. Doing so can damage their spinal cord.

If there's no immediate threat, it's best to just let the turtle do its thing and move on its merry way. Such was the case last year when we encountered a snapping turtle chilling on the trail at Rock Run Preserve.


Regardless of the animal — from skunks and snakes to rabbits and coyotes — additonal information about living with wildlife is available from the University of Illinois Extension.


Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to our digital newsletter, The Citizen. Signing up is easy, free of charge and provides subscribers with weekly updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family.


Food Truck Friday at Whalon Lake Canceled Due to Weather


Due to today's rain and the forecast for heavy thunderstorms this evening, the "Food Truck Friday" event scheduled for July 20 at Whalon Lake has been canceled.

Read More

Forest Preserve's Digital Marketing Efforts Earn National Award


The award recognizes the Forest Preserve's enhanced social media and website offerings, which have drastically increased public engagement.

Read More

Paddle and Kayak Your Way Through Summer and Into Fall


Learn how to kayak or brush up on your kayaking skills at programs that run through September.

Read More

The Citizen Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates