Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
Portions of the preserve will be under construction and closed to the public beginning in late 2020 or early 2021. Check the LCFPD.org website for updates.
The main entrance for the preserve is on Route 176, just west of Fairfield Road. The entrance for Shelters A and B, and horse and snowmobile trailer parking is on Ivanhoe Road, just west of Fairfield Road.
The entrance for the Winter Sports Area and Millennium Trail and Fort Hill Trail access is on the east side of Fairfield Road just south of Route 176. The Dog Park entrance is on the east side of Fairfield Road just north of Route 176. An annual or daily permit and a dog are required for entry.
At 2,835 acres, Lakewood is Lake County's largest forest preserve, offering dedicated equestrian trails, and additional trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Biking is not allowed on the preserve's trails, only along sections of the Millennium Trail and the Fort Hill Trail as they run north through Lakewood. Trail tunnels for both of these regional trails allow for continuous travel and easy passage under Route 176.
Other preserve amenities include a Dog Park, picnic shelters, a variety of fishing ponds, and a lighted Winter Sports Area.
From roughly 1835 to 1865, this site's large forested areas were divided into smaller parcels used by local farmers as a source of firewood and lumber. After the Civil War, small farms dominated the property. In 1937, Malcolm Boyle, a general contractor from Chicago, made his first of many purchases here and created Lakewood Farms, a country estate. Over the next 20 years, his farm became one of Lake County's largest, with livestock, orchards, gardens and crops. Boyle landscaped the ponds, dug Banana Lake and built 16 major buildings.
In 1961, Howard Quinn purchased the 1,250-acre farm and converted it into a large dairy ranch, which operated until 1965. In 1968, our acquisition at Lakewood began and has continued in stages for more than 30 years. You can still identify the large show barn, the chicken coop and the bull barn.
Flora & Fauna
Lakewood is home to 24 threatened and endangered species. On the west side of the preserve is the 70-acre Wauconda Bog. It is ringed by poison sumac and a natural moat, and is so ecologically valuable it is designated as a National Natural Landmark and an Illinois Nature Preserve.
Another area of note is Broberg Marsh, home to a variety of wetland birds. Its habitat provides one of the best breeding spots in the county for birds.
This landscape is a mixture of oak woods, wetlands and fields. You'll also find farmlands and groves of evergreens. A lot of wildlife lives here and if you're observant, you may even spot one of the bats from the colony living near Shelter E. These shy mammals sleep while picnickers have their fun, and then awake at dusk to eat thousands of mosquitoes and other bugs.
Shared By: Lake County Forest Preserves