Illinois: Van Patten Woods|
Posted on Thursday, June 08 @ 08:16:38 MST by iljiana
vlado writes "The entrance and parking area are located on Route 173, east of Route 41 and west of Green Bay Road.
The 991-acre Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve is
one of the premier recreation sites in Lake County. A majestic oak
forest, 74-acre Sterling Lake, and the Des Plaines River provide a
picturesque backdrop for outdoor recreation activities such as fishing,
picnicking and horseback riding.
Five miles of crushed-gravel trails offer fun for hikers,
bicyclists, cross-country skiers and horseback riders. The Des Plaines
River Trail bisects the Preserve and is open to horses, bicycles, and
hikers. Its trailhead is at the far northern Russell Road entrance. It
can also be accessed from other trails within the Preserve.
On the Preserve's northern end is a rustic tent youth
campground that can be reserved for organized youth groups of up to
100. The site has a water pump, fire rings, firewood, parking and
Van Patten Woods was Lake County's first Forest Preserve, created in
1961 with a 162-acre purchase. In the 1970s the abandoned gravel pit
that is now Sterling Lake was acquired. Mined from the 1930s through
the mid-1970s, this area was deeply scarred. Major restoration that
took place between 1989 and 1993 resulted in the safe and clean
preserve visitors enjoy today.
The key natural feature here is the Des Plaines River and its
adjacent floodplain, which serve as a refuge to many native species
while providing flood control to Lake County residents. On higher
ground to the river's east, you can relax among native oak woodlands
and planted pine groves. To the west, natural areas are being restored
where the former gravel quarry had severely altered the land.
For more information:(847) 367-6640"