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Images of Franklin Creek  

Franklin Creek State Natural Area, located in northern Lee Country in northwest Illinois 8 miles east of Dixon near Franklin Grove is one of Illinois' newest IDNR sites.

The creation of this 882-acre natural area was made possible with the private donation of land for nature preserve purposes. A beautiful segment of Franklin Creek has been protected.

The area contains wetlands, and significant rock outcroppings. The New Richmond Sandstone, rarely visible in Illinois, makes several appearances along Franklin Creek. Distinguished here as a whitish layer just above the water line, New Richmond Sandstone belongs to the Lower Ordovician Age, 500 million years old.

Many areas at the site combine scenic beauty as here in the background harmonized with the created beauty of native prairie restoration as in the foreground.

The Franklin Creek Preservation Area Committee organized in 1981 to take a leadership role in developing the natural area in an effort to maximum its natural resource value.

Volunteerism continues today to be a major element in the site's management. The Franklin Center Future Farmers of America spend many hours each year improving miles of trails along with other projects.

The Franklin Grove Boy Scout Troops are involved in improving spawning habitat for smallmouth bass at Franklin Creek State Natural Area. Under the direction of IDNR state fish biologists, artificial rock spawning beds are placed by the Scouts in selected locations.

The Franklin Creek Grist Mill is representative of the site's heritage preservation emphasis.

Reconstructed by volunteers, The Franklin Creek Grist Mill is open to the public seasonally. The multi-use facility  contains the state's only truly water-powered grist mill and also houses an interpretive center.
Hours:  Saturday and Sunday, Noon - 4pm; April - October, or by appointment by calling 815/456-2718 or 815/456-2878 .

Franklin State Natural Area

Parks & Recreation

Illinois Dept.of Natural Resources
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Springfield, IL 62702
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