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Nippersink Forest Preserve Trail



0.8 mile 1.3 kilometer point to point
100% Runnable


Ascent: 21' 7 m
Descent: -21' -6 m
High: 783' 239 m
Low: 771' 235 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)


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0.75-mile walk-in connection from local neighborhood to the larger trail system at Nippersink Forest Preserve.

Lake County Forest Preserves

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · Lake · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Need to Know

The entrance is on Route 120 (Belvidere Road), just west of Cedar Lake Road and east of Fairfield Road.


Previously a seasonal retreat for camping and recreational vehicles, this preserve is now a year-round haven for people and wildlife. Visitors enjoy trails, picnicking, birdwatching and nature observation. Century-old oak trees that rise above two scenic lakes, and woodlands, wetlands and marshes offer plentiful habitat for wildlife.

Hike, bike or cross-country ski along three miles of trails circling the lakes and adjoining woodlands. You'll cross a bridge and a boardwalk and pass by scenic overlooks along the way. A short woodchip trail winds through open oak groves. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).

The preserve trail joins the public sidewalk to the north across Nippersink Road offering access to surrounding communities.

Extensive shoreline restoration efforts and improved fish habitats make Nippersink a great place to fish. Anglers can fish from shore or from two wheelchair accessible fishing piers. Catch-and-release fishing is mandatory at this site. This program makes it recreation for anglers and beneficial for nature. Anglers are encouraged to use barbless, non-stainless steel hooks. Live bait is permitted.

You'll also find five picnic shelters here, four of which can be reserved for special outings. Gatherings of more than 25 people require a permit.

Flora & Fauna

Portions of Nippersink are listed on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, which identifies rare communities, rare species and high quality natural areas statewide that are in need of protection. Several threatened and endangered species have been identified here.

The site contains extensive Advanced Identification (ADID) wetlands that create emergent marsh areas. The wetlands, marsh vegetation and open water ponds, combined with the uplands and oak-hickory woodlands, offer an excellent blend of landscapes ideal for increasing and protecting the site's bird population. A portion of Squaw Creek flows through the property.

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