Henry Allen Gleason Nature Preserve

2022-2023 Season


Location: Located in Mason County adjacent to the Sand Ridge State Forest. The site is bounded on the east and north by Sand Ridge State Forest and on the west and south by private land. To access the state natural area, travel north 4 miles on Mason County Road 2800E from US 136 to Forest City, Illinois. At the intersection, turn west on Mason County Highway #20 and go 5 miles to Mason County Road 2300E. Turn north on 2300E and go approximately 2 miles to a signed parking lot on the west side of the road. A fire lane leads west out of the parking lot about 1/8 mile to the state natural area.

Description: Henry Allan Gleason Nature Preserve is 120 acres in size. Cover is primarily warm season grass and low growing woody shrubs interspersed with American Plum and Blackjack Oak thickets. Topography is that of a 60 foot sand hill or dune with several blowouts (open bare sand areas). Soils are all sand, and there are no open water areas on the site. Active habitat management will be occurring throughout the year on the site, including prescribed burning. 

Available Game Species:




 Special Requirements

 Deer (Archery)



 Windshield card

 Deer (Firearm)



 Windshield card


Additional Site Regulations:

Whitetail deer are the only species open to hunting. Firearm deer hunting permits are procured through random drawing, applications available at www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/Pages/DeerHunting. Archery deer hunting applications are by statewide permit available at www.exploremoreil.com or a licensed vendor. All hunters are required to register for a Hunter Windshield Card online at: dnr2.illinois.gov/windshieldcard/. Sand Ridge State Forest is in the drop down box for Region 4. Each hunter must register for a free site hunter windshield card prior to hunting. Windshield cards must be posted and visible from outside of vehicles. Harvest must be recorded on the same web page by February 15th of each year. Deer stand or ground blinds must be removed at the end of each day’s hunt.

Prescribed fire may be conducted during archery hunting season. Notification to the public for prescribed burning will be posted on the Sand Ridge State Forest web page and Sand Ridge telephone answering machine, 309-597-2212. Additionally, prior to prescribed fire ignition, a horn will sound 3 times to notify any person within the burn unit they must exit the area within 45 minutes. A second horn will sound 3 times 15 minutes after the first, indicating 30 minutes to exit area.

For further information, contact: Sand Ridge State Forest, PO Box 111, Forest City, IL 61532, phone 309-597-2212 

Equal opportunity to participate in programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and those funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies is available to all individuals regardless of race, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or other non-merit factors. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the funding source’s civil rights office and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, IDNR, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702; (217)785-0067; TTY (217)782-9175.