Forked Creek Preserve

Locations

Forked Creek Preserve has three access points:

Ballou Road Access is located on Ballou Road, east of Route 102, in Wesley Township.

Butcher Lane Access is located on Butcher Lane, south of Kahler Road, in Florence Township. Street parking is available on Butcher Lane.

Forsythe Woods is located on Kahler Road, west of Barr Road, in Florence Township.

Phone

815-727-8700

Hours

8 a.m.-Sunset

Preserve history

The 790-acre Forked Creek Preserve was acquired between 1974 and 2007.

The preserve is part of the Forked Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,400 acres.

This preserve has three access areas, all in Wilmington: Ballou Road Access, Butcher Lane Access and Forsythe Woods.

PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE ON THIS PRESERVE'S INTERACTIVE MAP

Natural resources

Forked Creek Preserve protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, wetland and a portion of Forked Creek.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes a variety of bird species, such as the spotted sandpiper, yellow-billed cuckoo, dickcissel and ovenbird.

The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including redbud, Kentucky coffee tree, glade mallow and smooth blue aster.

The site is managed with invasive species control and prescribed burning to protect and enhance its natural resources

Amenities and activities

Trails

Ballou Road Access features 0.67 mile of crushed limestone trail and access to the 22.29-mile, crushed limestone/paved Wauponsee Glacial Trail, ideal for the following activities:

  • Biking
  • Hiking/running
  • Horseback riding (on 20.16-mile crushed limestone segment; trailer parking available)
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing

Forsythe Woods features .55 miles of natural surface trail, ideal for the following activities:

  • Hiking/running
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing

Dog parks

Ballou Road Access features a fenced 9-acre, off-leash dog park, including a 3-acre enclosure exclusively for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for dog park use. 

Camping

Ballou Road Access offers two primitive campsites for family or group rental, with a permit capacity of six people per site. The campsites are on flat terrain in partial shade and provide access to fire pits and latrines. One campsite is on natural surface terrain and one is on a concrete pad and is ADA accessible. 

Picnicking

There are two picnic shelters for available for rental:

Fishing

Forsythe Woods offers access to shoreline fishing on Forked Creek. State and District regulations apply. 

Sledding

Butcher Lane Access features a natural hill ideal for sledding in the winter. The area is not supervised nor monitored for snow conditions. 

Geocaching

Permits are available for geocaching at Forsythe Woods.