Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
Special Note: The cave is gated and closed to visitors.
This site does not have public access road, parking or formal trails. Permission for access should be obtained from the landowner, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). To make arrangements to visit the site please contact IDNR Natural Heritage Biologist at (217) 285-2221.
From the west edge of Burton (2.2 miles south of Hwy. 104 and about 5.5 miles east of Quincy), go south 0.75 mile to road corner, then turn and go east across Burton Creek 0.1 mile, then take left fork and go about 0.7 mile to road end. The nature preserve is south of the end of the road.
Burton Cave Nature Preserve is an 85 acre tract containing Burton Cave, dry-mesic upland forest, floodplain forest, pine plantation and successional fields. The area is located on the Glacial Section of the Middle Mississippi Border Natural Division. It was formed by the continuous infiltration of groundwater through layers of limestone. This water-carved formation is known as a solution cave. Interesting features of the cave include exposures of 330 million year old Burlington limestone and many fossils, especially crinoid stems. The cave fauna is particularly unusual with over five species of migrating and hibernating bats, including federal and state endangered species, along with a very specialized invertebrate fauna. Some of the invertebrate animals never leave the inner cave and are ghost-like and blind their entire lives. Terrestrial communities also add to the preserve's diversity. Several prairie plants may be found in addition to a variety of forest communities. These areas are habitat for many common birds, mammals and herptiles.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
For further information:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Biologist, Route 106 West, Pittsfield, IL 62363 (217/285-2221)