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Wildlife Viewing   Wildlife Viewing

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Wildlife Viewing

The Forest Preserve works to protect wildlife, especially threatened or endangered species, in its preserves. Enjoy the viewing of this wildlife at a variety of locations throughout Will County.

Lake Renwick Preserve - Heron Rookery Nature Preserve in Plainfield is one of the premier rookeries in northern Illinois. During the breeding season, hundreds of pairs of nesting cormorants, great egrets, great blue herons, and cattle egrets raise their young. The preserve is closed annually from March through August 15 but public bird viewing programs are offered during this time. Check the Event Calendar for upcoming programs.

A different view into Lake Renwick, open year-round, is available at Copley Nature Park in Plainfield. This small preserve offers parking and a short walk to a gazebo where a viewing scope is available.

Wildlife observation areas are also available at many other preserves. Lower Rock Run Preserve - I&M Canal Access in Joliet features an observation deck beside a pond where beaver and foraging birds can be seen. McKinley Woods - Frederick's Grove in Channahon offers a deck overlooking the Des Plaines River. Whalon Lake in Naperville provides a deck overlooking a wetland restoration area. Vermont Cemetery Preserve in Naperville features an overlook of a historic cemetery prairie.

For more information about the wildlife and natural features of a preserve, select it from the list below.

Photograph Courtesy of Joe Wittenkeller

You can enjoy this activity at the following locations:

Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve (Braidwood)
Centennial Trail/I&M Canal Trail (Romeoville/Lockport/Joliet)
Colvin Grove Preserve (Joliet)
DuPage River Trail (Naperville/Shorewood)
Evans-Judge Preserve (Wilmington)
Forked Creek Preserve - Ballou Road Access (Wilmington)
Forked Creek Preserve - Butcher Lane Access (Wilmington)
Forked Creek Preserve - Forsythe Woods (Wilmington)
Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve (Beecher)
Hadley Valley - Bruce Road Access (Homer Glen)
Hadley Valley - Gougar Road Access (Joliet)
Hadley Valley - Route 6 Access (Joliet)
Hammel Woods - Crumby Recreation Area (Shorewood)
Hammel Woods - DuPage River Access (Shorewood)
Hammel Woods - Route 59 Access (Shorewood)
Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve (New Lenox)
Hickory Creek Bikeway (New Lenox/Mokena)
Hickory Creek Preserve - Hickory Creek Junction (Mokena)
Hickory Creek Preserve - LaPorte Road Access (Mokena)
Hunters Woods (Frankfort)
Isle a la Cache (Romeoville)
Joliet Iron Works Historic Site (Joliet)
Joliet Junction Trail (Joliet)
Keepataw Preserve (Lemont)
Lake Chaminwood Preserve (Minooka)
Lake Renwick Bikeway (Plainfield)
Lake Renwick Preserve - Copley Nature Park (Plainfield)
Lake Renwick Preserve - Heron Rookery Nature Preserve (Plainfield)
Lake Renwick Preserve - Turtle Lake Access (Plainfield)
Lambs Woods (Lockport)
Laughton Preserve (Manhattan)
Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve (Lockport)
Lower Rock Run Preserve - I&M Canal Access (Joliet)
Lower Rock Run Preserve - McClintock Road Access (Joliet)
McKinley Woods - Frederick's Grove (Channahon)
McKinley Woods - Kerry Sheridan Grove (Channahon)
Messenger Marsh (Homer Glen)
Messenger Woods Nature Preserve (Homer Glen)
Monee Reservoir (Monee)
O'Hara Woods Preserve (Romeoville)
Old Plank Road Trail (Park Forest/Frankfort/Mokena/New Lenox/Joliet)
Plum Creek Greenway Trail (Crete)
Prairie Bluff Preserve (Lockport)
Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve (Monee)
Riverview Farmstead Preserve (Naperville)
Rock Run Greenway Trail (Joliet)
Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access (Joliet)
Rock Run Preserve - Paul V. Nichols Access (Joliet)
Rock Run Rookery Preserve (Joliet)
Runyon Preserve (Lockport)
Sauk Trail Reservoir (Frankfort)
Spring Creek Greenway Trail (Homer Glen/New Lenox)
Sugar Creek Preserve (Joliet)
Tall Grass Greenway Trail (Naperville)
Teale Woods Preserve (Joliet)
Theodore Marsh (Crest Hill)
Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve (Park Forest)
Vermont Cemetery Preserve (Naperville)
Veterans Woods - Roy F. Hassert Grove (Romeoville)
Veterans Woods - Traders Corner (Romeoville)
Wauponsee Glacial Trail (Joliet/Manhattan/Symerton/Wilmington)
Whalon Lake (Naperville)
Wolf Creek Preserve (Naperville)
Visitor Centers
Four Rivers Environmental Education Center (Channahon)
Isle a la Cache Museum (Romeoville)
Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center (Plainfield)
Monee Reservoir Visitor Center (Monee)
Plum Creek Nature Center (Beecher)
Sugar Creek Administration Center (Joliet)
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17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
815.727.8700 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Weekdays
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