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Rock Run Rookery Preserve

Preserve History

The 224-acre Rock Run Rookery Preserve was acquired between 2002 and 2011.

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

Prior to the District's acquisition of the land, its two lakes were created and used for quarrying.



Natural Resources

Rock Run Rookery protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, wetland, an 84-acre lake and a 13-acre lake.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes a variety of bird species, including the great blue heron and great egret. Islands within the west lake provide nesting opportunities for the birds.


The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including marbleseed, pale beardtongue and sedges. 

Amenities and Activities


Rock Run Rookery features 0.41 mile of paved trail, ideal for the following activities: 

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


The preserve offers one picnic shelter for rental, Rock Run Rookery Shelter (permit capacity of 100 people). Learn more about picnic permits and fees.


The preserve offers access to shoreline fishing on its two lakes. Catch and release fishing is encouraged, but daily limits are:

Learn more about fishing in the forest preserves.


The preserve features a canoe/kayak launch on the large east lake. No launch pass is required. Learn more about canoeing/kayaking in the forest preserves, or download a map of the northeastern Illinois water trails.


The preserve provides trailer parking and a boat launch on the large east lake for small fishing boats, and there is no launch fee or District permit required. Boats are not allowed in the small west lake, or in the portion of the large east lake, marked by buoys, which protects an established rookery. Additional State and District regulations apply. Learn more about boating in the forest preserves.


Rock Run Rookery Preserve is located on Youngs Road, south of Route 6/Eames Street in Joliet.




6 a.m.-Sunset (April-October)
8 a.m.-Sunset (November-March)

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