Wildlife viewing

The Forest Preserve works to protect wildlife, especially threatened or endangered species, in its preserves. Enjoy the viewing of this wildlife at a variety of locations throughout Will County. 

Lake Renwick Preserve – Heron Rookery Nature Preserve in Plainfield is one of the premier rookeries in northern Illinois. During the breeding season, hundreds of pairs of nesting cormorants, great egrets and great blue herons raise their young. The preserve is closed annually from March through mid-August but public bird viewing programs are offered during this time. Check the Event Calendar for upcoming programs. 


A different view into Lake Renwick is available at Copley Nature Park in Plainfield. Open year-round, this small preserve offers parking and a short walk to a gazebo where a viewing scope is available. 

Wildlife observation areas are also available at many other preserves. Lower Rock Run Preserve – I&M Canal Access in Joliet features an observation deck beside a pond where beaver and foraging birds can be seen. McKinley Woods – Frederick's Grove in Channahon offers a deck overlooking the Des Plaines River. Whalon Lake in Naperville provides a deck with views of a wetland restoration area. Vermont Cemetery Preserve in Naperville features an overlook of a historic cemetery prairie. Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve's Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township offers a bird and butterfly sanctuary, a beehive exhibit and live reptiles.

For more information about the wildlife and natural features of a preserve can be found on each preserve's page.