New Dekalb County Forest Preserve: Prairie Oaks

This past weekend we visited a newly opened preserve in DeKalb County, Illinois called “Prairie Oaks Forest Preserve”.

Prairie Oaks Forest Preserve

Immediately we were impressed by the variety of habitat which included some wetlands, large stately oaks, and some restored prairie/savanna.

Prairie Oaks Forest Preserve

There is also a fairly large, older forest that is far removed from the road.

The preserve is located in the middle of farm fields so we bet that during migration, the place will be hopping with warblers and more.

We found mostly sparrows: Fox, White-throated, and White-crowned. Plus tons of Dark-eyed Juncos and a hunting Red-tailed Hawk.

Fox Sparrow
Fox Sparrow

White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch

We startled a group of around four deer as well.

The entire time we were there we noticed how quiet it was other than natural sounds.

There are many trails that criss-cross which we covered in about an hour. The terrain is easy and nearly flat and the time hiking/birding could be shortened by not doing all the loops.

There are also many picnic tables so you could have a picnic after a good hike.

Overall, we really enjoyed this new preserve and the work they did to restore the habitat. I plan on returning a number of times as it is on my alternative route home from work.

The one drawback is that dogs are not allowed at all at the preserve!

6 thoughts on “New Dekalb County Forest Preserve: Prairie Oaks

  1. Wow, I got here again! Still can’t figure out what’s up with that.
    Cool post, fyi–thanks for sharing.
    I don’t blog anymore, btw (you can check out my FB page via the link provided, though.)
    Most of this year I’ve been treated for/recovering from cancer. I find out next month if I’m cured (as expected.)
    Hope all’s well with you guys!

  2. Backyard Bird Paradise – it is definitely a place I hope to return often; it also feels bigger than the claimed 43 acres.

  3. Lana – thanks for visiting again! I hope you are cured. That is so scary and again I really hope you are better.

  4. I’m happy dogs are not allowed! Most owners are not respectful with their dogs and this place is in the process of restoration!!

  5. Micah – I’m fine with some places not allowing dogs. But I do wish owners would be more respectful. I’ve had far too many encounters are other places with loose dogs running at my leashed dogs.

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