North Dunes

Nature Preserve Area: 
Location and Access: 
From Zion, take Sheridan Road north to 17th St. Turn east on 17th St. and go 0.5 mile to the entrance to the north unit of Illinois Beach State Park. Continue on 17th St. 0.5 mile. The preserve is on the south side of the road.

This large and diverse area contains wetland, prairie, savanna and beach communities representative of the Lake Michigan Dunes Section of the Northeastern Morainal Division. A very unique habitat known as a panne is restricted to the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The diversity of habitats present in this preserve support a great variety of plants and animals. Rare plant species include common bugseed, bearberry, downy yellow painted cup, bog arrow grass and trailing juniper. Notable breeding birds found or reported at the site include Henslow's sparrow, king rail, Virginia rail, least bittern, American bittern, upland sandpiper and common snipe. The preserve is well known as a area where hawks and other migrating birds can be seen in spring and fall as they follow the Lake Michigan shoreline during migration.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
September 1988
816 acres with buffer
Topographic Quad: 
Topo Map: 
For further information: 
Contact: IDNR, Natural Heritage Biologist, Chain O'Lakes State Park, 8916 Wilmot Rd., Spring Grove, IL 60081 (815/675-2386 ext 317), or Site Superintendent, Illinois Beach State Park, Zion, IL 60099 (708/662-4811, ext. 365)

03/10 R. Heidorn