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Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access
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The 790-acre Forked Creek Preserve was acquired between 1974 and 2007.

The preserve is part of the Forked Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,400 acres of land.

Ballou Road Access is one of three access areas to the preserve. The other access areas are Butcher Lane Access and Forsythe Woods, both in Wilmington.

Natural Resources

Forked Creek Preserve protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, wetland, and a portion of Forked Creek.

Wildlife found at the preserve includes a variety of bird species, such as the spotted sandpiper, yellow-billed cuckoo, dickcissel, and ovenbird.

The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including redbud, Kentucky coffee tree, glade mallow, and smooth blue aster.

The site is managed with invasive species control and prescribed burning to protect and enhance its natural resources. Learn more about the Districtís land management activities.

Amenities and Activities


Ballou Road Access features 0.67 mile of crushed limestone trail and access to the 22.29-mile, crushed limestone/paved Wauponsee Glacial Trail, ideal for the following activities:Download a map of the Wauponsee Glacial Trail.

Dog Exercising

Ballou Road Access features a fenced 9-acre off-leash dog park, including a 3-acre pen exclusively for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for dog park use. Learn more about the District's dog parks, permits, and fees.


Ballou Road Access offers two primitive campsites for family or group rental, with a permit capacity of 6 people per site. The campsites are on flat terrain in partial shade, and provide access to fire pits and latrines. One campsite is on natural surface terrain, and one is on a concrete pad and is ADA accessible. Learn more about camping permits and fees.


The preserve offers one picnic shelter for rental, Ballou Road Access Shelter, with a permit capacity of 90 people. Learn more about picnic permits and fees.

Download a map of the amenities at Ballou Road Access.
Wauponsee Glacial Trail at Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access
Photograph Courtesy of Glenn P. Knoblock
Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access is located on Ballou Road, east of Route 102 in Wilmington.

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Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access Map
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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
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