Volo Bog

Nature Preserve Area: 
Location and Access: 
From Volo at jct. Hwys. 12 (59) & 120, take Hwy. 12 north 1.2 miles to Sullivan Lake Road, then turn and go west 1.4 miles to Brandenburg Road, then turn and go north and east 0.3 mile to the entrance and parking area of Volo Bog State Natural Area.

Special Note: Facilities at Volo Bog include an interpretive center and 0.5 mile and 5 mile trails with boardwalks in the wet areas. A trail guide and wildlife checklist are available. Numerous interpretive programs are available for individuals and groups. Opportunities to do management and nature interpretation are available through the Friends of Volo Bog.

This preserve, designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974, is located within Volo Bog State Natural Area. Volo Bog is the only site in the Illinois Nature Preserve system which contains all the stages of classic bog succession. Located in the Valparaiso Moraine of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division, the landscape of the area was shaped 12,000 years ago during the Woodfordian Stage of the Wisconsinan Glaciation. As the massive glaciers melted, numerous depressions were left behind. These eventually developed into lakes. Volo Bog was one of these lakes until it began filling with vegetation about 6,000 years ago. As the thick vegetation died and decomposed, a peat mat formed. The combination of sphagnum moss and stagnant water resulted in acidic conditions within the bog community. Wetland communities include graminoid bog, low shrub bog, forested bog, tall shrub bog and pond. Upland communities include dry-mesic forest and mesic savanna. This great diversity of habitats has benefited many plants. Notable plant species found in the graminoid bog are marsh shieldfern, bottlebrush sedge and sensitive fern. Tamarack, starflower, water arum and highbush blueberry can be seen in the forested bog, while winterberry holly, poison sumac, red-osier dogwood and marsh cinquefoil occur in the tall shrub bog. Animals in the area include little brown bat, muskrat, beaver, veery and sandhill crane. During the winter, Volo Bog is a good site to look for northern owls and finches.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
June 17, 1970 as the 25th Ill. Nat. Preserve
186 acres with buffer
Topographic Quad: 
Topo Map: 
For further information: 
Contact: Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Rd., Ingleside, IL 60041 (815/344-1294) or IDNR, Natural Heritage Biologist, Chain O'Lakes State Park, 8916 Wilmot Road, Spring Grove, IL 60081 (815/675-2386 ext 317)

03/10 R. Heidorn