Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
In Mount Zion, take Highway 121 to Spitler Park Dr. Turn east on Spitler Park Dr. and go 0.5 mile to the entrance to Spitler Woods State Natural Area. The preserve is on the east side of the park road.
This forest contains one of the largest acreages of old growth woods in central Illinois. Mesic upland forest which contains red oak, sugar maple, black walnut and basswood is present on the hillsides and slopes. Dry mesic forest containing white oak, red oak and shagbark hickory is present on the higher elevations. Wet-mesic floodplain forest containing sycamore, hackberry and Ohio buckeye is present along the creek which flows through the preserve. The site has a spectacular display of spring wildflowers, including false rue anemone, wild geranium, trillium, spring beauty and mayapple.
Several songbirds also inhabit the preserve. Yellow-billed cuckoo, gray catbird, eastern wood pewee and red-bellied woodpecker may be observed here.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
146 acres nature preserve, 13 acres buffer
For further information:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, District Natural Heritage Biologist, 301 S. Date Street, Gibson City, Illinois 60936 (217-784-4730)., or Site Superintendent, Spitler Woods State Park, Box 705, Mt. Zion, IL 62549 (217/864-3121)