Kankakee River Nature Preserve
Kankakee and Will Counties
Location and Access:
From Kankakee, take either Hwy. 102 or Hwy. 113 northwest 6 miles to Kankakee River State Park. The nature preserve is in the state park.
Special Note: The preserve is located within Kankakee River State Park, where facilities and recreational opportunities are available.
Kankakee River Nature Preserve comprises 139 acres in two separate tracts - an island in the Kankakee River, known as Langham or Altorf Island, and both sides of the river at the western most edge of Kankakee River State Park. The forested areas are representative of both the Grand Prairie Section and the Kankakee Sand Area Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The upland forest to the south is characterized by white and black oak. A more mesic forest is present on the north facing slopes and terraces along the river. Here, red oak, basswood and sugar maple are present in the overstory, while the understory is rich in wildflowers and ferns. A bottomland forest of silver maple, cottonwood and green ash occurs along the river and on the island. The tract to the north of the river consists of rolling sand hills, and it supports a typical white oak-black oak community. This community grades into a more wet forest along the low river bluff. Seepages in this area support a bog-like community with skunk cabbage and angelica. Dolomite bedrock outcrops are also present and many uncommon plant species such as wild stonecrop and bulblet fern occur here.
Ownership: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: January 24, 1966 as the 15th Illinois Nature Preserve
Size: 135 acres
Topo Map: Bourbonnais and Bonfield 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Site Superintendent, Kankakee River State Park, Bourbonnais, IL 60914 (815/933-1383) or Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, Silver Springs State Park, 13608 Fox Road, Yorkville, IL 60560 (630/553-1372)
3/2010 - R. Heidorn