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DeKalb County Forest Preserve
Prairie Oaks Preserve & Swanson Grove


hiking  picnic   handicapp accessiblecrosscountry skiing  

No other DeKalb forest preserve has quite the unique diversity of plant communities (and therefore animal habitats, too) as the Prairie Oaks Preserve. Savanna, upland forest, wet woods, streams, marshes, seeps, upland prairie, mesic prairie, wet prairie, dry prairie, sedge meadow… about every native community that occurs in our county, except the river, is represented here. The seeps have been restored with the re-introduction of a complex set of native grasses, sedges, rushes, bulrushes and forbs that thrive in each other's company. Red-headed Woodpeckers and Otters are seen here more frequently than in any other DeKalb preserve. There are a couple miles of mowed trails, 1.5 acres of mowed picnic areas with tables, occasional benches and a 750 foot handicapped access trail to an overlook.


Intensive restoration work continues at this site and the recent 39-acre Swanson Grove addition. These two preserves and two more forest preserve sites along Haines Creek will, in the future, make up the Haines Creek Conservation Corridor.



This 43-acre nature area offers:

Tree planting at Prairie Oaks Forest Preserve   

New Planted Tree

Lunching on Picnic Tables