museum grand prairie middle fork campground homer lake interpretive lake of the woods golf rail trail

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Mission Statement
We are stewards of our county's natural and historic resources through conservation, education and the compatible outdoor recreation experiences we provide at Champaign County's Forest Preserves.

Phone: (217) 586-3360 | Fax: (217) 586-5724 | Email:

Lincoln Lecture Series:
Love's Young Dream: Courtship and Weddings in the Lincoln Era
Sunday October 19
Museum of the Grand Prairie, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 2 p.m.
Drawing on period letters, diaries, etiquette manuals, and reminiscences, this illustrated talk will examine the nature of courtship and weddings in Lincoln-era Springfield to establish a social and cultural context for the Lincolns' experience. How did young people meet? What kind of social activities did courting couples engage in? What was the nature of engagements? What were typical features of weddings of the time? Exploration of the answers to these questions will result in a fuller picture of life in 19th century Springfield and a greater understanding of the Lincolns' social world. This lecture is supported in part through a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. FREE. For more info: (217) 586-2612 or

Fall Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, October 25
Museum Education Center, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Go on a fall scavenger hunt and learn about simple and compound leaves, identify various trees and take a walk around the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Gardens. $3 per child. Registration required; (217) 586-2612

Forget the Rest: Hike and Relaxation
Saturdays, September 20 through October 25

Interpretive Center, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 8 – 10 a.m.
Are you in need of a special time to relax and reflect? Join us as we hike in nature and forget about the rest of the world. This program will start with some light stretching and breathing exercises to calm your mind and body. This program is for adults and mature teens only, please. Registration is not required. $5 suggested donation. For more info: (217) 896-2455 or

Check out what Lake of the Woods Golf Course has to offer now - Footgolf! Grab your argyle socks and cap and hit the greens!

Preschool Programs
Growing Up Wild
First Tuesday of Month at Museum Education Center, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, 10 – 11 a.m.
Nature Play Pre-K
First Friday of Month at Natural Playscape, Homer Lake Forest Preserve, 10 – 11 a.m. or 1 – 2 p.m.

2014 Schedule

Middle Fork River Detour
Work begins Monday, May 12 on a bridge south of the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve entrance. The road will be closed through completion of the bridge in October. If headed there, please use alternative routes shown here.