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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.

Monee Reservoir

The Monee Reservoir Visitor Center offers a variety of educational and recreational opportunities

Things We Love: Those Human-Friendly Cellar Spiders

Cellar spiders love to live in human habitats, but they're beneficial to us to.

Lower Rock Run Preserve – McClintock Road Access

The 372-acre Lower Rock Run Preserve was acquired between 1989 and 2003. The preserve is part of the Rock Run preservation system, which conserves more than 1,450 acres.

Horseback Riding

The Forest Preserve offers three equestrian trails, which are comprised of limestone screenings and provide miles of horseback riding opportunities.

Things We Love: Those Teeny, Tiny Microarthropods

Tiny but mighty microarthropods are tiny bugs that do a lot of good despite their small size.

Creature Feature: The Striking Red-headed Woodpecker

With its crimson cap and stunning black and white wings, the red-headed woodpecker is a beauty among birds.

Preserve the Moment Photo Contest

Use this upload tool to enter the annual Preserve the Moment Photo Contest.

Migration Watch: Monarchs Have Made It Into Illinois

We're charting migrations this season and we're excited to see they've made their way to Illinois.

Hadley Valley – Bruce Road Access

The 726-acre Hadley Valley was acquired between 2000 and 2014. The preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 1,900 acres.

Lake Renwick Bikeway

The Lake Renwick Bikeway is a flat, paved linear and loop trail and travels 3.35 miles through wetland and around Budde Lake.

Isle a la Cache Improvements Underway

Isle a la Cache preserve, a site steeped in history, will be getting some modern upgrades in the coming months to improve visitor experiences.

Quiz: Test Your Beaver Brainpower

We all know the saying 'busy as a beaver,' but how much do you really know about these buck-toothed rodents?

How To Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard: Native Plants Are Best

Both hummingbird feeders and wildflowers can help attract ruby-throated hummingbirds to your yard, but don't forget about including plants that host insects, another important food source for these tiny beauties.

Don't Feed The Wildlife? What About The Birds?

Don't feed the animals. We hear it all the time. Yet many of us make a habit of feeding wild birds. Why are birds any different than other wildlife?

Nature Curiosity: Why Do Marsupials Have Pouches?

For marsupials, only adult females have pouches, and they serve an important role in the reproductive process.

Preserve the Moment

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

Creature Feature: American Badgers Are Digging Machines

The American badger isn't as well-known as many of the other mammals that call Will County home, but these fascinating creatures are exceptional diggers that are known to work alongside coyotes to hunt.

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.

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery

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

Things We Love: The Aptly Named Bloodroot

Spring wildflowers are beautiful but fleeting. Keep your eyes trained to the ground when out for a walk to see if you can spot bloodroot, a fascinating ephemeral.

Messenger Woods Nature Preserve

The 441-acre Messenger Woods Nature Preserve was acquired between 1930 and 2006. The preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 1,900 acres.

Happy Mornings

6/18/2020: Start the day off right with some self-care, beautiful nature and quiet reflection.

Lower Rock Run Preserve – I&M Canal Access

The 372-acre Lower Rock Run Preserve was acquired between 1989 and 2003. The preserve is part of the Rock Run preservation system, which conserves more than 1,450 acres.

Things We Love: Those Layabout Woodchucks

Photographing wildlife can be an adventure, but the woodchuck is an easy subject.

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.

Whalon Lake

Whalon Lake has two shelters available, and a permit is required for all groups of 25 or more to use a shelter.

Things We Love: Those Exquisite Common Grackles

Common grackles might seem ordinary, their name even implies it. But while these birds may be common, there is something quite special about them.

What's The Difference?: Fox Snake vs. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Is that snake you saw a dangerous eastern massasauga rattlesnake or a nonvenomous fox snake? If you saw it in Will County, it was a fox snake. The massasauga does not live in Will County. In fact, no venomous snakes do.

Watch the Incredible Moment a Bison Calf is Born

The scene recently played out at Nachusa Grasslands, where bison were reintroduced to the prairie in 2014.

The Beloved White-Tailed Deer

From what they eat to where they live, get to know North America's most common deer

Fishing Line Killed This Robin at Monee Reservoir; It Shouldn't Have

It's a scene that plays out too often in the preserves, but it's important to raise awareness of how deadly trash being left behind can be to wildlife.

Creature Feature: The Mysterious Mink

The mysterious mink lives across Illinois, but are not often seen by humans.


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

Lake Renwick Preserve – Turtle Lake Access

The Turtle Lake access is one of three at the the 839-acre Lake Renwick Preserve, which was acquired between 1989 and 2010.

Lake Renwick Preserve

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center is located on Renwick Road, east of Route 30, in Plainfield.

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