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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

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Trail closures due to flooding

7/17/2017 4:13:00 PM
Some trails and preserves are closed due to flooding. Please check the interactive map for more details.
 
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Old School



Address

28285 St. Mary's Road
Mettawa, IL 60048

Hours

6:30 am–sunset, daily.

Picnic Shelters

Shelter A
Shelter B
Shelter C
Shelter D
Shelter E

Maps

Trail Map
Directions

Acreage

543 acres

Activities

Biking
Fishing
Hiking
Horseback Riding
Ice Skating
Picnic Shelter Rental
Sledding
In-line Skating
Cross-Country Skiing

Amenities

Picnic Tables
Playground
Drinking Water
Public Parking
Toilets
Trails
Horse Trailer Parking
Picnic Shelters

Programs

School & Scout

 

Related Sites

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway

Related Documents

Countywide Map and Guide

One of our most popular spots, offering miles of trails, great bass fishing and secluded picnic spots in the heart of Lake County. Old School's sled hill is one of the most popular features of this preserve and can be seen from I-94.

Trails

Gravel trails, a paved roadway trail and a fitness trail are available here. 

  • Gravel: A 2.7-mile loop trail explores woods and prairies and is open for hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. A portion of this loop is part of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT). The 1-mile lake loop trail encircles the lake and is open to for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The 1.2-mile fitness trail is open only to foot traffic and offers workout stations that build strength and endurance.
  • Paved: 1.5-mile roadway trail winds through the preserve offers a special one-way lane popular for biking and in-line skating. It is also open to hikers.

Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).

The Des Plaines River Trail winds through this preserve and is open to hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. From Old School you can make your way south to Lincolnshire without crossing any major roads.

History

This land was acquired in parcels between 1974 and 1976. The preserve and nearby Old School Road each got their name from the now-defunct Bradley School, which stood near the preserve's southeast corner. The school began as a log cabin in 1873. Learn more »

This was the first forest preserve in Illinois to blend native prairie restoration with recreation facilities. For instance, native prairie plants replace the usual mowed lawn, and parking lots are small and hidden from view among the trees. Innovations like this led to national awards, placing our agency among a select group of leaders in this field.

The Natural Scene

Large oaks dominate these woodlands that blend with small prairies. This landscape resembles what Lake County looked like when it was first settled. Bluebirds, foxes and screech owls are just a few of the animals living here. Time one of your visits to coincide with the August peak of prairie flowers blooming. You'll be treated to a rainbow of colors, ranging from golden alexanders to purple milkweed. Learn more »

Restoration has long been a priority at Old School. With the help of its dedicated volunteer Site Steward and team of volunteers, much work has gone into restoring the prairie and monitoring its wildlife. However, the preserve needs further assistance with removal of invasive species and reforestation with native species. Learn how you can get involved.

 

Location

The entrance is on Saint Mary's Road south of Route 176 and north of Route 60 (Townline Road).

 

PHOTOS

 
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Scan Trail Map to Your Smartphone

QRCode

To scan: open QR Code Reader app or download one from the App Store or Google Play and hold phone over the code above.

Download our free mobile app for your iPhone, Android or iPad to view other preserve and trail maps.


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