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Fishing opportunities are available in the Will County forest preserves free of charge.


The Forest Preserve offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities at locations throughout Will County.

A primer for bringing your pooch to a preserve

Follow these rules to protect your pup and the preserves.

Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve

The 891-acre Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve was acquired between 1938 and 2007. The preserve is part of the Plum Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,300 acres

Thorn Creek Headwaters Preserve

The 426-acre Thorn Creek Headwaters Preserve was acquired between 2007 and 2008. The preserve is part of the Thorn Creek preservation system, which conserves approximately 1,600 acres.

Creature Feature: The Gangly and Graceful Great Blue Heron

With their long legs and necks and striking plumage, great blue herons somehow manage to be both gangly and graceful all at once. These birds are commonly seen throughout Will County, particularly near water.

The Dog Days of Summer Are Here, But It Doesn't Mean What You Think

The dog days of summer are here, both literally and metaphorically. Be sure to stay safe outdoors during periods of high heat and humidity.

Creature Feature: The Ubiquitous Garter Snake

The garter snake is the most common snake in the United States, living from coast to coast. But these snakes are still interesting creatures, despite being ubiquitous.

Preserve the Moment

Read the full rules of the annual photo contest before submitting photos.


The forest preserves provide hikers and runners with beautiful trails throughout the county, making them convenient no matter where you live.

A Death Trap for Wildlife: Improperly Disposed of Fishing Line

Fishing line seems like an innocuous tool, but in reality it's a death trap for untold numbers of wildlife.

Things We Love: Those Fiercely Protective Crappies

Spring is spawning season for crappies, which offers an opportunity to get a good look at these fish.

Creature Feature: The Secretive Blue-Spotted Salamander

Have you ever seen a blue-spotted salamander? Most people haven't, but they do live in Will County. Finding one is a matter of knowing where to look.


The Forest Preserve District of Will County has over 30 picnic shelters found in various preserves throughout the county.

Hook a Prize in 'Big Fish Contest' at Monee Reservoir

The second annual angler competition runs from July 1-August 30 and awards prizes for biggest panfish, catfish and bass, and an overall grand prize winner will be chosen from among all entries.

Forest Fitness: Intervals at Hadley Valley (Zoom webinar)

7/28/2020: Learn how physical intervals improve cardiovascular performance and progress in hiking, biking and running.

Dog Exercising

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has six dog parks throughout the county. All parks provide fenced areas that allow dogs to run and play without a leash.

Quiz: Test Your Hummingbird Braininess

While these bright and beautiful birds can be seen in our area, learn more about these miniature but mighty marvels.


Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting activity that is growing in popularity, and is permitted in select Will County forest preserves.

Frog on a Log Leaps over May's Photo Competition

The 2020 Preserve the Moment contest kicked off with more than 100 stunning photo entries taken in Will County forest preserves; seven more monthly winners will be chosen until the contest concludes December 31.


The Forest Preserve offers fishing boat launches and rowboat rentals at select preserves. Fishing boat launches provide trailer parking, and there is no launch fee.

Five Things You Probably Don't Know About Bald Eagles

From eagle eyes to Benjamin Franklin, dive into these offbeat facts.


The Forest Preserve District of Will County provides challenging job opportunities. Positions are posted as they become available.

2020 Picnic and Camping Permits Now on Sale

Permits can be purchased online or in person at Forest Preserve visitor centers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Creature Feature: The Clever Green Heron

The green heron isn't as well known or as frequently seen as the great blue heron, but these birds are interesting in their own right.

Forest Preserve Dog Parks Now Open

Changing recommendations from the CDC and state modifications to its COVID-19 response paved the way for the dog parks to reopen; but the Forest Preserve urges dog park patrons to follow all public safety advice to protect their health and the health of others.

Wonderfully Wild Snakes of Will County

The slither. They climb. They freak people out. But don't worry, the locals are harmless.

Creature Feature: Opossums Are Nature's Pest Control

Opossums are so ugly that they're cute, but beyond their appearances we should appreciate them for their amazing pest control abilities.

Creature Feature: The Agile Gray Squirrel

Do you know what kind of squirrel is taking up residence in your yard? Learn more about eastern gray squirrels and how to differentiate them from other squirrels that live in Illinois.

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery

The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center offers seasonal bird viewing opportunities for the public.

Your Guide to Fishing in the Preserves

Fish won’t come to you, you need to go to the fish.

Plum Creek Greenway Trail

The Plum Creek Greenway Trail travels 3.15 miles through Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve.

Monee Reservoir

The 248-acre Monee Reservoir was acquired between 1982 and 2006. The preserve is part of the Rock Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 460 acres.

Passport Program Celebrates Earth Day's Golden Anniversary

Check out the list of programs and activities online, record your Earth-friendly activities and be entered for a chance to win prizes.

Hey Folks, Nature Is Not A Petting Zoo. Leave The Animals Alone

The wildlife you see in the preserves and elsewhere is just that — wild. The preserves aren't petting zoos, and people should not touch or otherwise handle animals they encounter.

COVID-19 Update: Latrines, Visitor Centers Now Open

During the Forest Preserve's phase four reopening plan, latrines and water fountains are available, visitor centers will reopen with capacity limits, and picnic and camping permits can be booked online or in person.

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