Spring Lake

open fields at Spring Lake

Spring Lake (also called Spring Creek) offers the opportunity to do some real trekking over hills and valleys. With 4,000 acres to explore on more than 45 miles of winding unpaved trails, almost anywhere within Spring Lake feels like a secret spot.

On this page:


Locations & Things to Do

Spring Lake includes multiple locations:


Beverly Lake

Entrance

W Higgins Rd/Rte 72, west of Beverly Rd
Cook County, IL 60010
(near Barrington)

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Penny Road Pond

Entrance

East Penny Rd, west of Old Sutton Rd
Barrington Hills, IL 60010

Things to Do & Amenities

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Spring Lake Equestrian Parking

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Spring Lake Nature Preserve

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


two people riding horses at Spring Lake

Spring Lake Trails

Surface

Unpaved

Estimated Total Length

45.8 miles

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts

*Please be a courteous trail user: Follow posted signs and our trail rules and etiquette.

Fishing

Beverly Lake

Beverly Lake is a 16-acre body of water with a maximum depth of 7.2 feet.


Beverly Lake
(part of Spring Lake)
W Higgins Rd/Rte 72, west of Beverly Rd
Cook County, IL 60010 (view web map of Beverly Lake)
(near Barrington)

Penny Road Pond

This small, seven-acre pond has a maximum depth of 4.6 feet and is connected to Spring Creek.


Penny Road Pond
(part of Spring Lake)
East Penny Rd, west of Old Sutton Rd
Barrington Hills, IL 60010 (view web map of Penny Road Pond)

open fields at Spring Lake

Nature Notes

Because of its large size and variety of landforms (everything from wetlands to woodlands), Spring Lake (also called Spring Creek) sustains large and diverse animal populations. Bring binoculars to see sandhill cranes, belted kingfishers, blue-winged warblers and orchard orioles. Observant hikers may also see butterflies (including the Baltimore checkerspot), dragonflies, frogs, tiger salamanders, red fox, coyotes, beaver, muskrat, hawks, owls and white-tailed deer.

Spring Lake is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Audubon, its open expanses providing vital breeding habitat to grassland birds, including meadowlarks, Henslow’s sparrows and bobolinks. Bobolinks that nest here in June have migrated from the grasslands of Argentina. A hilltop north of Penny Road Pond offers vistas of one restoration area that attracts these species each year. Spring Lake is just one in a global network of Important Bird Areas.

Nearby marshes and fens flower with wild iris and Joe Pye weed. A restored savanna near Beverly Lake paints a picture of how the rolling countryside would have looked before settlers.

At the far northwest end of the county, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission has dedicated Spring Lake Nature Preserve as a preserve worthy of special protection. This is a place of glacial pools, remnant prairie, sedge meadow and fen. Here a gravel-bottomed creek meanders through a glacial valley featuring two glacial lakes.

Buffered from intense urban development, the waters and landscape can ‘breathe’ naturally, relatively free of ditching and pollution. A rich diversity of butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, birds, otter, beaver, rare shrews, owls, cranes, fish, mussels, insects and other living things call Spring Lake Nature Preserve home.


a group of volunteers at Spring Lake. Photo by Kris DaPra.
Photo by Kris DaPra.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers work almost every weekend at any one of the many different sites at Spring Lake (also called Spring Creek). Depending on the season volunteers may be cutting and burning brush, controlling weeds by pulling, scything and herbiciding, or collecting and sowing seed.