Kettle Moraine

Nature Preserve Area: 
Location and Access: 
From the intersection of Highway 31 and Highway 120 in McHenry take Highway 120 east. Immediately after crossing the Fox River turn south on a county road (River Rd.) and follow the signs to Moraine Hills State Park. The nature preserve consists of 2 units in the state park, Pike Marsh and Leatherleaf Bog. To reach Pike Marsh take the main park road to the Pike Marsh Day Use Area. The preserve is reached by taking a short trail from the parking lot. There is a boardwalk out into the Marsh. To reach Leatherleaf Bog continue on the main park road to the Northern Lakes Day Use Area. The preserve is west of the parking lot.

This preserve contains a variety of natural features which owe their origins to the last glacial epoch approximately 12,000 years ago. Leatherleaf Bog is a 120 acre bog which contains the shrub leatherleaf, sphagnum moss, marsh fern, marsh marigold and several species of willow.

Pike Marsh is a peat-filled basin which contains marsh and fen vegetation. Unlike a bog which is acidic, fens are alkaline in nature. Several notable species including bladderwort, pitcher plant and Blanding's turtle are present here.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
December 1974
294.5 acres, in two parcels
Topographic Quad: 
Topo Map: 
For further information: 
Contact: IDNR, Natural Heritage Biologist, Chain O'Lakes State Park, 8916 Wilmot Road, Spring Grove, IL 60081 (815/675-2386 ext 317) or Site Superintendent, Moraine Hills State Park, McHenry, IL 60050 (815/385-1624)

03/10 R. Heidorn