Shoe Factory Road Prairie

Nature Preserve Area: 
Location and Access: 
From Hoffman Estates, take Hwy. 72 (Higgins Road West to Shoe Factory Road (just west of Barrington Road), then turn left on Shoe Factory Road and go 2.6 miles. The nature preserve is on a hilltop on the south side of Shoe Factory Road.

Special Note: Access to this preserve is by prior permission only.

Shoe Factory Road Prairie is a dry to dry mesic gravel prairie perched on the crest and slopes of a glacial deposit or kame of sand and gravel. The well-drained glacial deposits and the orientation and exposure of the slopes to the mid-day sun and wind combine to create a hot, dry habitat for prairie plants. Plants found at Shoe Factory Road Prairie that are especially well adapted for this harsh environment include little bluestem, sideoats gramma, northern dropseed and porcupine grass. Over 100 prairie species have been identified at this site, including the prairie bushclover and woolly milkweed. On the more protected east-facing slope, a woodland community dominated by bur oak exists. This preserve is responding well to management efforts (e.g., prescribed burns, brush cutting) and is a cornerstone of an adjacent 600 acre prairie and oak savanna restoration effort sponsored jointly by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and The Nature Conservancy.

Forest Preserve District of Cook County
January 1965 as the 10th Illinois Nature Preserve
9 acres
Topographic Quad: 
Topo Map: 
For further information: 
Contact: Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Conservation Dept., 536 North Harlem Ave., River Forest, IL 60305 (708/771-1330) or Naturalist, Crabtree Farm Nature Center, Palatine Rd., Barrington, IL 60010 (708/381-6592)

1/2009 - R. Heidorn