George B. Fell Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Oregon at jct. Hwys. 2 & 64, take Hwy. 2 south and southwest 4 miles to Castle Rock State Park. The nature preserve is in the state park.
George B. Fell (Castle Rock) Nature Preserve contains a tremendous diversity of natural communities including ravine, upland and floodplain forest, prairie, river, creek and sandstone outcrops. These communities are some of the best remaining examples that represent the Oregon Section of the Rock River Hill Country Natural Division. The most significant features in the preserve are the mesic upland forest and sandstone cliffs. Here, the acidic, sandy soil accompanied by shade provides unique conditions for relict boreal plants such as native white pine, bunchberry, hairy woodrush, round-leaved shinleaf and wild sarsaparilla. These plants are relicts of a wide spread boreal community that covered much of northern Illinois some 10 to 15 thousand years ago during the latter stages of the Wisconsinan glacial period. Today, the normal range of this type of vegetation is much further north in Wisconsin and Minnesota or to the east in the Appalachian Mountains. Other unique plants include oak fern, ground pine, shining clubmoss, smooth white violet and Canada mayflower. This preserve is named after the founder of Illinois' system of nature preserves.
Ownership: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: December 1972
Size: 685.6 acres with an additional 23.4 acre buffer
Topo Map: Grand Detour and Daysville 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, Lost Mound Unit, 3159 Crim Drive, Savanna, IL 61074
1/2009 - R. Heidorn