Rock Cave Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Beecher City at jct. Hwys. 33 & 128, take Hwy. 128 south 5.6 miles. The nature preserve is east of the highway.
Rock Cave lies in the Effingham Plain Section of the Southern Till Plain Natural Division. Upland and ravine forests, a permanent stream, sandstone outcrops and rock formations are found here. Presently, Rock Cave is the only area of its kind in the Illinois Nature Preserve System. The deep ravines and series of sandstone outcrops provide a diversity of habitats. They support a rich forest community along with several plant species that are far from their normal range or are uncommon in Illinois. The sandstone cliffs support a plant community characterized by hydrangea and Christmas fern. The mesic forest includes sugar maple, red oak and basswood. The dry-mesic forest contains white oak, black oak and hickories. Small stands or isolated individuals of American beech are associated with the ravine crests over bedrock. Many spring wildflowers, a scenic view, rugged topography and notable vertebrate species such as Fowler's toad, northern leopard frog and eastern box turtle are present. The area attracts many visitors.
Ownership: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: June 1983
Size: 79 acres
Topo Map: Altamont West 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Site Superintendent, Ramsey Lake State Park, R.R.#1, Ramsey, IL 62080 (618/423-2215) or Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, Prairie Ridge State Natural Area, 4295 North 1000th Street, Newton, IL 62448, (618/782/2685)
1/2009 - R. Heidorn