Elizabeth Lake

Nature Preserve Area: 
Location and Access: 
From Richmond at jct. Hwys. 12 & 173, take Hwy. 12 north 1 mi. to an access lane to the east. The nature preserve is 0.8 mi. to the east.

Special Note: Access to this preserve is only through special McHenry County Conservation District sponsored tours.

Elizabeth Lake is a large, diverse wetland in northeastern McHenry County. The natural communities at Elizabeth Lake represent the Morainal Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. They include graminoid bog, calcareous floating mat, graminoid fen, marsh, pond, lake, low gradient creek, sedge meadow and dry-mesic savanna. One of the more unusual and extremely rare communities at Elizabeth Lake is the graminoid bog. It is always floating, is close to open water and is considered the first stage of bog succession. The bog is dominated by sphagnum moss, sedges and marsh shield fern. The calcareous floating mat has a floating layer of calcareous sedge peat dominated by sedges and blue joint-grass. The graminoid fen is on peat with calcareous seepage and is dominated by big bluestem and sedge. The other communities are typical examples of their types and support common wetland plant species as well as several rare, threatened and endangered species. This diverse wetland provides habitat for a wide variety of animals and many can be seen during any season of the year. The aquatic community present at this preserve is of excellent quality.

McHenry County Conservation District
April 1985
212.477 acres with buffer
Topographic Quad: 
Topo Map: 
For further information: 
Contact: McHenry County Conservation District, 6512 Harts Road, Ringwood, IL 60072 (815/678-4431)

03/10 R. Heidorn