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Snakes in the Water? Don't Worry; They're Not After You

Learn more about the northern water snake, one of the most common water snakes in Illinois.

A primer for bringing your pooch to a preserve

Follow these rules to protect your pup and the preserves.

Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access

The 320-acre Rock Run Preserve was acquired between 1990 and 2009. The preserve is part of the Rock Run preservation system, which conserves more than 1,450 acres.


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

Coming in 2020: Pelican Watch, Food Truck Fridays, Zombies, and More

The 2020 special event schedule features a wide variety of offerings for all ages and interests.

Whalon Lake

The 249-acre Whalon Lake was acquired between 1992 and 2007. The preserve is part of the DuPage River preservation system, which conserves more than 1,500 acres.

Paddling Safety and River Hazards (Zoom webinar)

9/2/2020: Learn about safe paddling in Will County and the potential hazards that can exist on the waterways.


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

Quiz: Test Your Knowledge on the American Mink

Test your knowledge on these little-known creatures.


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.

Joliet Junction Trail

The 60-acre Joliet Junction Trail was acquired between 2000 and 2002. Prior to the District’s acquisition of the land, it was an abandoned railroad

Forest Fitness: Functional Fitness at Hammel Woods (Zoom webinar)

8/18/2020: Learn how turn the mundane into a physical fitness opportunity.

Retired Carpenter Nails Perfect Shot for June Photo Contest Win

Jon Flodstrom of Frankfort said he timed it just right to get within a foot of a widow skimmer perched near a Hickory Creek Preserve pond to snap the winning photo.

Quiz: Are You As Clever as a Red Fox?

Find out by answering these 10 questions.

The Monarchs Are Disappearing, But Here's How You Can Help

Monarch populations continue to plummet, but there are things you can do to help.


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

Heartbreaking Egret Photo Another Reminder of Dangers of Improperly Disposed of Fishing Line

As the weather begins to turn for the better and more people take to the preserves to fish, we have an urgent plea for everyone: Please properly dispose of your fishing line.

Pedal the Prairie: Lower Rock Run Preserve – I&M Canal Access

9/19/2020: Join Forest Preserve staff as we pedal the beautiful trails of Will County.

2020 Preserve the Moment Photo Contest Underway

The Forest Preserve's Preserve the Moment photo contest begins May 1, but all participants are being urged to stay safe while snapping pics of nature in Will County preserves.

What's The Difference?: Butterfly Vs. Moth

Is that a moth or a butterfly? Learn the clues to help you tell the difference.

Beyond the Rules: A Guide to Dog Park Etiquette

As off-leash play areas for canines become more popular, it's important to know the do's and don'ts of a successful trip to a dog park.

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.

Forest Fitness: Biking the Trails at Hickory Creek Junction (Zoom webinar)

8/11/2020: Learn the best way to ensure your safety and physical progress while biking in the preserves.

Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Closes for Nesting Season

The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery site will be closed to general access from March 1-August 15 to protect nesting birds. Visitors will be allowed only during bird-watching programs.

Creature Feature: The Crafty Killdeer

One of most common birds in North America, the killdeer has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to protecting its nest from potential threats.

Pedal the Prairie: Hickory Creek Barrens

9/5/2020: Join Forest Preserve staff as we pedal the beautiful trails of Will County.

Biting Through Bats' Bum Rap

Despite the trepidation many people feel toward bats, they play a crucial role in the world, one that is critical to our survival.

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 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.

What's the Difference: Chipmunk vs. Ground Squirrel

Is that a chipmunk or a ground squirrel scurrying around your yard in preparation for winter? Learn how to tell the difference between these two similar-looking rodents.

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.

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.

Creature Feature: The Diminutive Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are the smallest woodpecker in North America. Learn more about these birds in this creature feature.

Creature Feature: The Often-Misidentified 13-Lined Ground Squirrel

That chipmunk you see may be a 13-lined ground squirrel. Learn how to tell them apart and everything you need to know about these ground squirrels.

Hickory Creek Barrens

The 1,541-acre Hickory Creek Preserve was acquired between 1942 and 2010. The preserve is part of the Hickory Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,000 acres.

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