Lake County Forest Preserve News
Join the Lake County Forest Preserves and dozens of local park districts in the new Go Lake County movement. This countywide low-impact fitness initiative aims to empower Lake County residents to improve their overall health through the simple act of walking. And, there’s no greater benefit to our bodies and minds than walking in nature. Our outdoor hiking programs offered in forest preserves throughout Lake County are a natural fit to get you going. Attend our weekly Forest Fitness hikes, which are now part of the Go Lake County initiative, or take friends and family along for a hike on any of our scenic preserve trails.
Enjoy a relaxing paddle and watch the sunset from Hastings Lake on May 20, at 7 p.m. Bring your own equipment or use one of our kayaks. No experience required, but it is recommended.
Preserve and Trail Improvement Projects
Several trail and preserve improvement projects are planned for completion this year, weather permitting. Here are a few highlights. Check our website for updates on all projects.
Lyons Woods to Waukegan Savanna Trail Connection: We’re partnering with others to create a 2.3-mile paved trail connecting the Robert McClory Bike Path at Lyons Woods to the Green Bay Road right-of-way.
Opening this summer
Waukegan Savanna Dog Park: Canines will soon have a new off-leash dog area to exercise, play and socialize. The entrance is at the northeast corner of Delany and Yorkhouse Roads.
Opening late fall
Spring Bluff Observation Deck and Trail: An existing asphalt roadway is being converted to a 0.7-mile trail, and a new wildlife education and observation deck is being built. Opening late 2018.
Science in the Preserves
We are serious about our goal to eradicate the non-native invasive species, buckthorn, from our forest preserves and beyond. In 2015, we convened several regional organizations to discuss ideas for controlling buckthorn. This conversation was organized to launch a pilot project to improve landscapes within the vicinity of Middlefork Savanna (Lake Forest). Around that same time our Assistant Public Affairs Manager, Allison Frederick, forged a partnership with social scientists at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Eager to discuss applicable methods for behavioral change and conservation psychology, she teamed up with researchers at the USFS to determine people’s perceptions of the trees and aesthetics in the buckthorn pilot area. Learn more
National Trail Award Received
A pedestrian bridge installed last fall over the Metra Railway to connect 4.5 miles of trails at Middlefork Savanna (Lake Forest) to neighboring facilities and parks won the best in trails award from the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials. The award recognizes exceptional trail project planning, design and construction and benefits to the community. The Middlefork Bridge and Trail Connection was made possible by donations from: Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein, The City of Lake Forest, Lake Forest Open Lands Association, Chicago Bears, Lake Forest Academy, Lake Forest Bank & Trust Company and John and Paula Lillard. A special thank you to bridge and trail Project Manager, Michael Haug, Lake County Forest Preserves.
For more information on the Lake County Forest Preserve, click here for their website.