Glacial Park

Nature Preserve Area: 
Location and Access: 
From the town of McHenry, take Rt. 31 (Richmond Rd.) north for approximately 6.5 mi. to Harts Rd. turn west (left) at Harts Rd. which takes you into Glacial Park.

Special Note: Glacial Park Nature Preserve is located within the larger Glacial Park, west of Harts Rd., west of the MCCD office. Foot trails provide access to the park and portions of the nature preserve. Parking and public facilities are available.

Glacial Park Nature Preserve is part of a 2600 acre McHenry County Conservation District site known as Glacial Park. The preserve offers scenic vistas which reveal the glacial heritage of this region. Undisturbed knob and basin topography typical of glacial moraines, kames, dissected outwash terraces and kettles define the landscape. Exceptional examples of delta kames border the western edge of the preserve. Biological richness characterized this site with over 420 plant species contributing to five distinct plant communities. The tallgrass savannas are dominated by bur, white, black, and Hill's oaks with many forbs such as Culver's root, shooting star and yellow star grass in the understory. Small patches of dry hill prairies dominated by sideoats gramma and little blue stem occur in the oak openings on the tops of the kames. A 10-acre central kettle features a very high quality low shrub bog with leather-leaf and sphagnum moss the dominate plants and poison sumac, cinnamon fern, bog buckbean and rusty cotton grass among other plants making notable appearances. Fen/sedge meadow community complexes occur in areas receiving large amounts of mineralized ground water. The largest kettle in the preserve is a 20-acre marsh with cattails, bulrushes, sedges and grasses. Nine species of plants listed as endangered or threatened in Illinois occur in the preserve. Many species of butterflies, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals can be found throughout this site. In addition, large scale restoration of the entire Glacial Park has been underway since 1985. Re-establishment of the original hydrology in previously drained wetlands is part of the restoration project providing outstanding habitat for migratory water fowl.
McHenry County Conservation District
October 1992
330 acres
Topographic Quad: 
Topo Map: 
For further information: 
Contact: McHenry County Conservation District, 6512 Harts Rd., Ringwood, IL 60072 (815/678-4431)

1/2009 - R. Heidorn