Black Partridge Woods

a creek and bridge in winter at Black Partridge Woods
Photo by Bill Dixon.

Black Partridge Woods’ 80 acres feature bluffs overlooking the Des Plaines River, ravine forests and spring-fed streams. The site is a protected Illinois Nature Preserve.

On this page:


Locations & Things to Do

Black Partridge Woods

Things to Do & Amenities

  1. Portable bathroom open May 1 to October 31 depending on weather conditions.

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Black Partridge Woods Nature Preserve

Things to Do & Amenities

  1. Service dogs are allowed at most public locations. View accessibility policies.
Illinois Nature Preserve: This land is designated as one of the highest quality natural areas in the state by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. This status includes increased levels of legal protection and management. Learn more on the Illinois Nature Preserves Page.

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


creek in fall at Black Partridge Woods
Photo by Kevin Coyote-Trust.

Nature Notes

Over the millennia, the spring-fed stream that winds through the 80 acres of Black Partridge Woods carved a ravine into a broad, sloping bluff overlooking the Des Plaines River. Today, canopies of sugar maple, basswood and oak drop sharply from the highlands to the streambed below. This unique ravine landscape, together with the preserve’s location on a sleepy road in a corner of Lemont, makes Black Partridge Woods a rare treat.

Black Partridge Woods boasts one of the earliest displays of spring wildflowers in the region. In late March and early April, thick-leaved skunk cabbages and bright yellow marsh marigolds push up in wet areas along the stream. Pink and lavender blooms of hepatica spread on the hills rising from the stream valley.

In mid- to late April, prairie trillium, trout lilies, wild ginger, waterleaf and wild geranium bloom on the slopes of the ravine. As April gives way to May, the pink and yellow of shooting stars and golden Alexanders add color to the open areas of the woodland.

Animals observed here include northern water snake, American toad, wood pewee and red-headed woodpecker. Early May is primetime for birdwatching, as migrating warblers and other songbirds stop to rest and feed in the preserve on their long flights north.

The high-quality waters of Black Partridge’s stream provide a home to many species of fish, amphibians and reptiles. One resident is the rare mottled sculpin, a fish that requires cool, highly oxygenated water. To protect this stream and its inhabitants, Black Partridge Woods was designated an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1965, the second site in Illinois to receive this distinction.


Volunteer Opportunities

Black Partridge Woods is an 80 acre site featuring river bluffs, ravine forests, and spring-fed streams. Restoration activities center on the removal of invasive species like honeysuckle and barberry with the use of loppers and hand saws. Weather permitting volunteers will build and burn brush piles.