Lake County's Forest Preserves

One of the most appealing characteristics of Lake County is the extensive network of green space and protected lands, including state parks and numerous forest preserves and historic sites.  Now that the weather is finally warming up, it is a great time to grab your bikes or comfy shoes and head over to one of these great spaces!  Here are a few of my favorite forest preserves in Lake County:

Almond Marsh Forest Preserve

Almond Marsh is one of the county’s most popular spots for bird-watching.  The forest preserve boasts a great blue heron rookery and enjoys the distinction of being one of Illinois’s Nature Preserves.  For those in Lake County looking for environmentally friendly volunteer opportunities, several restoration workdays each year.

Almond Marsh Forest Preserve is located in Grayslake, south of Route 120 and west of N. Almond Road.

Independence Grove

A popular wedding venue, Independence Grove boasts a visitors center with sweeping views of its 115-acre lake and surrounding nature preserve.  This forest preserve is a perfect location for long bike rides, rollerblading, or casual strolls around the lake. The beach is slated to reopen for the summer season on Saturday, May 25, and the park’s boat rentals are popular among visitors.  For music lovers, the summer concerts held at Independence Grove are sure to be a hit.

Independence Grove is located in Libertyville, off of Route 137 and east of Milwaukee Road. 

Lakewood Forest Preserve

The site of the Lake County Discovery Museum, Lakewood Forest Preserve is home to a large section of the Millennium Trail and a popular spot for picnickers.  The park offers unique events, such as an evening guided hike to learn about the acoustic monitoring that bats use on Tuesday, April 16.

Lakewood Forest Preserve is located in Wauconda, off of Route 176, west of Fairfield Road.

For a county-wide map of Lake County’s forest preserve, please visit the Lake County Forest Preserve District’s website.


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