Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve

Monarch butterfly feeding on joe pye weed at Wolf Road Prairie. Photo by Fidencio Marbella.
Monarch butterfly feeding on joe pye weed at Wolf Road Prairie. Photo by Fidencio Marbella.

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Location & Things to Do

Wolf Road Prairie 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.


Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts

Wolf Road Prairie in fall
Wolf Road Prairie in September 1985. Photo by David Wilson is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped from original.

History & Nature Notes

The southern portion of Wolf Road Prairie is crisscrossed with sidewalks—laid for a planned subdivision ended by the Great Depression. When development threatened again in the 1970s, concerned community members formed Save the Prairie Society (STPS) to buy the first parcel of what is now an 82-acre Illinois Nature Preserve managed by the Forest Preserves, STPS, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Salt Creek Greenway Association and Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

Wolf Road Prairie contains several native communities, including prairie, savanna and wetland and is home to more than 360 native plant species. The rare remnant black soil prairie features the beautiful blooms of prairie dock, Indian plantain and prairie phlox, thanks to volunteer workdays and larger restoration projects that battle invasive species and collect and disperse seeds from the site’s native plants.

Volunteer Opportunities

Join the Save the Prairie Society at restoration workdays. Training, tools, and supplies provided.