Ridgetop Hill Prairie Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Eureka at jct. Hwys. 24 & 117, take Hwy. 24 east 6.2 miles to blacktop road, then turn and go south 5.25 miles to gravel road, then turn and go west 0.25 mile and south 0.3 mile. The nature preserve is to the west of the road.
Special Note: The preserve is on rough terrain along the Mackinaw River, five miles southeast of Eureka, south of County Road 475W and west of County Road 1975E.
Ridgetop Hill Prairie contains glacial drift hill prairies and forest communities once abundant in the Grand Prairie Section of the Grand Prairie Natural Division. The prairie supports over 40 species of plants and is dominated by little bluestem and side oats grama. Typical prairie forbs include aromatic aster, purple prairie clover and goldenrods. The prairie opening on the long narrow ridge closest to the river is richest in composition. The dry-mesic upland forest, occupying about 10 acres, is dominated by white oak, shagbark hickory and ironwood. A narrow belt of bottomland forest occurs along the Mackinaw River and contains silver maple, sycamore, black walnut and elm. The preserve, although small, has a great diversity of habitats that support typical animal species found in upland forest, forest edge, brush, bottomland and river bank areas. Of particular interest are migrating hawks and nesting lark sparrows on nearby properties. Management of the preserve includes prescribed burning and fencing.
Ownership: ParkLands Foundation
Dedicated: June 1984
Size: 16 acres with an additional 1.4 acre as buffer
Topo Map: Secor 7.5
For Further Information Contact: ParkLands Foundation, Box 261, Bloomington, IL 61702 (309/438-5567)
1/09 - R. Heidorn