We protect and preserve over 3,600 acres of habitat along the Mackinaw River.

All of our preserves are open to the public from dawn to dusk*.  Please see our featured preserves below for specific access information.

Featured Preserves

Merwin Blubells 2018


Learn more about Merwin Savanna Nature Preserve.

Cristina under tree

Sweeney Woods

Learn more about Sweeney Woods Preserve.

letcher cover

Letcher Basin

Learn more about Letcher Basin Land and Water Reserve.



Learn more about Ridgetop Hill Prairie Nature Preserve.


Kenyon-Baller Woods

Learn more about Kenyon-Baller Woods Preserve.

lexington gallery 2


Learn more about Lexington Preserve.


Hayes Woods

Learn more about Hayes Woods Preserve.


Weston Cemetery

Learn more about Weston Cemetery Prairie Nature Preserve.


Chinquapin Bluffs

Learn more about Chinquapin Bluffs Land and Water Reserve.

Parklands Property Map R6 with Preserves
  • Acres: 20
  • Acquired: 2000 (gift of Bob Newlin)
  • Notes: No maintained trails.
  • Acres: 178
  • Acquired: 2002 (142 acres, bargain sale from Frank Kenyon), 2019 (36 acres, Dr. Robert S. Baller)
  • Notes:  2 miles of hiking trails.  Park in designated grass lot 0.25 miles east of preserve.
  • Acres: 70
  • Acquired: 2017 (Richard Hayes)
  • Notes: 2 miles of hiking trails.  Parking lot.
  • Acres: 18
  • Acquired: 1984 (in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy)
  • Notes: Registered Illinois Nature Preserves.  Park in short grass near entrance sign.  No maintained trails.
  • Acres: 154
  • Acquired: 2007
  • Notes: ParkLands’ most expansive prairie restoration. 5 miles of hiking trails.  Picnic area. Nearby is the Jim Fenis Canoe Launch at Wyatt’s Ford Preserve
  • Acquired: 1979 (gift of Jim and Lou Fenis)
  • Notes: South bank of river accessible from Denman Road.
  • Acres: 52
  • Acquired: 1989 (gift of Frances Woodrum)
  • Notes: Oak/hickory savanna and woodland on Denman creek. Park on north side of 355N and access via private conservation easement of Dr. Matthew Fraker.  No maintained trails. 
  • Acres: 730
  • Acquired: 1987 (40 acres, gift of Mildred Hazle), 2009 (640 acres, gift of The Nature Conservancy) Nearby is the Sam Leman Canoe Launch at Dungey Preserve
  • Acquired: 2007
  • Access: Adjoins 168-acre eastern section of Chinquapin Bluffs Land and Water Reserve.
  • Acres: 50
  • Acquired: 2008
  • Notes: Adjoins northwestern border of Comlara Park.  No maintained trails.
  • Acres: 115
  • Acquired: 1970 (22 acres, gift of Nicor Gas Company), 1970 (10 acres, Sweeney family), 2009 (77 acres, Sweeney Family)
  • Notes: 2.5 miles of hiking trails.  Canoe launch.
  • Acres: 42 
  • Acquired: 1988 (gift of Dorothy Moon) 
  • Notes: Centrally located within the inner loop of Lake Bloomington.  1.2 miles of hiking trails.  Limited on-street parking on Carver Road. 
  • Acres: 60 
  • Acquired: 1979 (32 acres, gift of Frank and Thelma Breen), 1991 (28 acres, gift of Champion Federal Savings and Loan Association) 
  • Notes: Four separate parcels.  No maintained trails. 
  • Acres: 713 
  • Acquired: 1971 (107 acres, bargain sale from Emile and Viola Rediger), 1971 (130 acres, bargain sale from Lela May Thatcher), 1971 (40 acres, Harold Gregory estate), 1974 (40 acres, Herschel Vandegraft), 1975 (60 acres, Albert Kinsella), 1976 (93 acres, Virgil Stewart), 1979 (44 acres, L.D. Benedict), 1985 (170 acres, Behrens family with funds from gift of Leslie Henline), 1994 (40 acres, Illinois Wesleyan University) 
  • Notes: The jewel of the ParkLands preserve system.  5 miles of hiking trails.  Canoe launch.   
  • Acres: 280 
  • Acquired: 1991 (80 acres, gift of Albert E. and Louise Chapman), 1992 (90 acres, Bigger), 1993 (7 acres, Bradford), 1994 (20 acres, Tom Mohr), 1995 (63 acres, Alyce Mohr), 1996 (20 acres, gift of Cecelia Bunney) 
  • Notes: CRP tree planting restoration.  No maintained trails.  Limited off-street parking on 2450 North.   
  • Acres: 173 
  • Acquired: 1971 (10 acres, gift of Edward and Dorothy Shelley), 1990 (163 acres) 
  • Notes: 4 miles of hiking trails.  Dorothy Shelley wildflower garden. 
  • Acres: 30 
  • Acquired: 1975, 1984 (gifts of Edward Shelley) 
  • Notes: Two parcels; one north of river and one to south.  No maintained trails 

Henline Preserve 

  • Acres: 60 
  • Acquired2008.  Gift of Leslie Henline to The Nature Conservancy in 1975 which was then given to ParkLands. 
  • Notes: Two separated parcels bordering Henline Creek: 40 acres that adjoins Frey Timber Preserve, and 20 acres of woodland to the south.  No maintained trails.   

Frey Timber Preserve 

  • Acres: 32 
  • Acquired: 1971 (gift of Carl and Frieda Frey) 
  • Notes: Woodland that borders Henline Creek and adjoins Henline Preserve.  No maintained trails.  High biotic inventory of Henline Creek may make these preserves eligible for designation as an Illinois nature preserve. 
  • Acres: 5 
  • Acquired: 1972, 1986 
  • Donor: Flora Kelleher, Natural Land Institute 
  • Notes: Remnant prairie.  Registered Illinois Nature Preserve.   
  • Acres: 5 
  • Acquired1968 (gift of Frank Hubert) 
  • Notes:  Sangamon River watershed.  Mature walnut and cottonwood trees.