Illinois Nature Preserves

Bluff Spring Fen 1


Nature Preserves in the Forest Preserves of Cook County


Illinois Nature Preserves

The State of Illinois designates the highest quality natural lands in the state as “Nature Preserves.” With that title comes increased levels of legal protection and management. The Forest Preserves of Cook County has 23 dedicated nature preserves, including many of the state’s earliest.


Baker’s Lake (Inverness)

Black Partridge Woods (Lemont)

Bluff Spring Fen (Elgin)

Burnham Prairie (Burnham)

Busse Forest (Elk Grove)

Calumet City Prairie and Marsh

Cap Sauers Holding (Palos Park)

Cranberry Slough (Willow Springs)

Deer Grove West Woodland and Wetland (Palatine)

Harms Flatwoods (Glenview)

Jurgensen Woods North (Calumet City)

McMahon Woods and Fen (Palos Hills)

Palos Fen (Palos Hills)

Paw Paw Woods (Willow Springs)

Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh (Chicago)

Sagawau Canyon (Lemont)

Salt Creek Woods (Westchester)

Sand Ridge (Calumet City)

Shoe Factory Road Prairie (Hoffman Estates)

Somme Prairie (Northbrook)

Spring Lake (Barrington Hills)

Thornton-Lansing Road (Glenwood)

Wolf Road Prairie (Westchester)


Illinois Land and Water Reserves

The Forest Preserves of Cook County has four Land and Water Reserves. This state designation provides special protections, though at a lower level than a Nature Preserve.


Bartel Grassland Land & Water Reserve (Matteson)

Bobolink Meadow Land and Water Reserve (Tinley Park, Flossmoor, Country Club Hills)

Jens Jensen Grasslands & Woods Land & Water Reserve (Palatine)

Orland Grassland Land & Water Reserve (Orland Park)


Learn more about the Illinois Nature Preserves System.

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County