The areas in and around Warrenville, Illinois, are ideal for seeing wildlife. With many nature preserves, trails, and a zoo, you can get up close to many animals, birds, and insects. Here are some spots for prime viewing to see the local wildlife around Warrenville.
Blackwell Forest Preserves
Blackwell Forest Preserves is 1,366 acres of prairies, oak and hickory woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. The preserve has camping, fishing, picnic shelters, archery, an off-leash dog park area, and much more. You can see many types of wildlife, such as the following birds:
- Wood ducks
- Blue-winged teals
- Wild turkeys
- Solitary sandpipers
- Great blue herons
- Bald eagles
It’s also a great spot to see other wildlife, such as deer, coyotes, red foxes, and muskrats. Blackwell’s McKee Marsh is home to the northern leopard frog breed. There are many trails to explore where you can walk, jog, bike, ride horseback, or cross-country ski. Visit Blackwell Forest Preserves at Butterfield Road in Warrenville.
Severson Dells Nature Center
Severson Dells Nature Center is a 369-acre county forest preserve. Housed in a converted deer lodge, the center includes a screened-in porch with a stone hearth, a bookstore, a library, a conference room, and a classroom. Numerous bird feeders attract a wide assortment of bird species year-round. Binoculars are offered to enhance bird watching, along with a bird spotting board, bird identification guides, viewing benches, and comfortable armchairs located in the library with a view of the bird feeders.
The nature center hosts guided hikes, lectures, school field trip programs, and summer camps. Kids can play in the grove nature playscape, a back-to-nature play area. There are five miles of self-guided nature trails in the forest preserve, including a hard-surfaced trail, under a mile in length, with year-round access. You can also take a path through the wildflowers and see pollinator insects, attend guided walks, and go on moonlight hikes. The nature center is also accessible, with golf carts that can be reserved with 10 days advance notice. Severson Dells Nature Center is located at 8786 Montague Road in Rockford.
The Forest Preserves
Home to a vast array of flora, fauna, and wildlife, take time to discover The Forest Preserves. Thanks to a project to improve water quality, you can now see river otters, a playful member of the weasel family. You can spot black-crowned night herons who hunt for fish, invertebrates, and amphibians. The preserve is also home to the blue-spotted salamander, which can escape predators by dropping off its tail as it wriggles away to safety, but don’t worry because its tail grows back.
You can take in the wildflowers in the spring and view their insect pollinators. There’s also ample opportunity for bird watching, and you can find the list of locations that make up the preserves here.
St. James Farm
Explore a 595-acre forest preserve containing woodlands, prairies, and wetlands at St. James Farm. This preserve is home to 300 native plant species and wildlife, including red-bellied woodpeckers, great blue herons, white-breasted nuthatches, fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, and coyotes. There are hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing trails, or you can also explore the preserve by touring it on a tractor-drawn wagon. Other scheduled programs and opportunities for fishing and picnicking can be found for individuals, families, and groups to explore the natural world throughout the year. St. James Farm is located at 2S541 Winfield Road in Warrenville.
Warrenville Grove is a 127-acre forest preserve home to trails, woodlands, and picnic areas. It’s set along the shoreline of the West Branch DuPage River. The preserve is an excellent spot for bird watching and catching fish. Warrenville Grove is located at 3S345 Batavia Road in Warrenville.
Kline Creek Farm
At Kline Creek Farm, you can step back in time to see a recreation of a working farm circa the 1890s. This restored farmstead is run by historically costumed interpreters who use the farming techniques and tools of the past for a living history experience. There are farm animals to see, including horses, Southdown sheep, shorthorn cattle, and chickens in the farm’s coop, barn, fold, and pastures.
The farm demonstrates 19th-century farm activities, including sheep shearing for its visitors. The farm also engages in beekeeping and honey gathering and leads educational programs on the bee’s role as a pollinator of two-thirds of all U.S. crops. You can find Kline Creek Farm at 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago.
Peck Farm Park
Peck Farm Park is a 385-acre natural retreat. Its main highlight is a butterfly house open from mid-May through mid-September. In the magical butterfly house, hundreds of non-native butterflies will fly, feed, and land around you. There’s also the Hawk’s Hollow Nature Playground, where kids can stop for playtime, and eight learning stations, offering a unique environmental and playful education environment. The farm is also home to other experiences, including a sensory garden, an observation silo, George’s circle, an ADA outdoor amphitheater, nature and biking trails, and 19 acres of wetland. You and your family can visit Peck Farm Park at 4038 Kaneville Road in Geneva.
Head to Cosley Zoo to see native wildlife and farm animals. You and your children can view immersive exhibits showing animals in their natural habitats. Some animals found in the zoo are Blanding’s turtles, coyotes, white-tailed deer, red foxes, and more. Individual and family programs are available, as well as scouting visits and teen opportunities. More than just a place to view animals, Cosley Zoo is committed to animal education and conservation, teaching both young and old how to care for nature and animals. Cosley Zoo is located at 1356 N. Gary Ave. in Wheaton.
As you can see, the areas in and around Warrenville have a wealth of nature to explore, with plenty of places to see animals, birds, and insects of all kinds. The Crème de la Crème of Warrenville team invites you to explore the ample opportunities for nature and wildlife in your backyard, from nature preserves to parks and zoos.