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Your Forest Preserves

your forest preserves

Maps

Grant Woods Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide
Rubber Duck Pond Fishing Map
Directions

Acreage

1226 acres

Activities

Bicycling
Cross-Country Skiing
Fishing
Hike Lake County Challenge
Hiking
Picnic Shelter Rental
Snowmobiling

Amenities

Drinking Water
Picnic Shelters
Picnic Tables
Public Parking
Toilets
Trails

Related Sites 

Grant Woods Canoe Launch

Picnic Shelters

Shelter A
 

Grant Woods

Construction Alert: The gravel parking lot off Rollins Road that provides access to the southern portion of Grant Woods, the Chain-O-Lake Trail and boat access to Long Lake is in the process of being upgraded to an asphalt surface.  The parking lot will remain open during most of the construction activities however closure of the parking lot will be required when asphalt is being placed.  Caution should be taken when construction activities are taking place.  Please check back frequently for additional construction update and any necessary closures of the parking lot

Open prairies, quiet woodlands and marshes teeming with wildlife await you at Lake County's second largest forest preserve.

Trails, Canoe Launch

Six miles of gravel trails here are open to hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. In winter, snowmobilers have access to 4.5 miles of trails that tie into adjacent snowmobile trails on private land. A 1-mile grass trail in the far northeastern section of the preserve can be accessed from Cedar Lake Road. The trail extends to Fairfield Road, across from Lake Villa Township's Caboose Park.

A separate parking lot located between Rollins Road and Lakeshore Drive just west of Fairfield Road provides trail access to the southern section of Grant Woods, and a connection to the Chain O'Lakes Bike Path. 

Across from the parking lot is a public launch on Long Lake for cartop boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards or other small watercraft. Launching is free and at your own risk. You'll need approved flotation gear and your boat must be properly registered with the state of Illinois. Electric trolling motors are allowed. Trailers are not permitted.

 

Location

Grant Woods Forest Preserve is located in northwest Lake County in Lake Villa. 

The south entrance/parking area is located on Monaville Rd between Route 59 and Fairfield Rd.

The north entrance/parking area is located on Grand Ave (Route 132) between Route 59 and Fairfield Rd. 

A separate parking lot off of Cedar Lake Road just south of Grand Avenue provides access to a 1-mile grass trail in the far northeastern section of the preserve. The trail extends to Fairfield Road, across from Lake Villa Township's Caboose Park.

The canoe launch parking area is located between Rollins Road and Lakeshore Drive just west of Fairfield Road. Trail access to the southern section of Grant Woods, and a connection to the Chain O'Lakes Bike Path is also available from this lot. 

 

History

After the Potawatomi left this area in the 1830s, most of it was grazed and farmed. Early landowners include Elijah Stanford, Charles Hawkins, and Otto Lehmann. Stanford and Hawkins were both born in New York in 1832. Stanford came to Fox Lake with his parents at the age of 12, left for the California Gold Rush with his wife at the age of 18, moved to Nevada when 32 and returned here to farm this land at age 38.

Hawkins moved here as a 13-year-old and stayed until he was 29, when the Civil War broke out. He joined the infantry and fought in several battles, receiving a bullet wound in his hand. After the war, he returned to his farm here and became a school director.

Otto Lehmann, son of E.J. Lehmann (founder of Chicago’s Fair Department Store and responsible for bringing the railroad to Lake Villa), also owned property in what is now Grant Woods. He and his family helped the area’s economy, employing local residents as horse trainers, carpenters, and grounds keepers on their large estates, including the historic Lehmann Mansion, which is located adjacent to Sun Lake Forest Preserve in Lake Villa.

 

The Natural Scene

There is a lot of variety in this gently rolling landscape of woodlands, prairie and marsh. One area, designated as a protected Illinois Nature Preserve, was never farmed and thus is rich in rare native plants. It even supports a tamarack bog, a rarity in this region. Bluebirds fill the nest boxes dotting the property, springtime ponds fill to the brim with noisy frogs, summer prairie grasses tower over visitors, and year-round glimpses of deer, hawks and other wildlife abound.

Lake County’s only known stand of wild Kentucky coffee trees grows here. Since their large shiny seeds were used in Native American games and trade, the trees’ presence indicates the possibility that indigenous people frequented this site and perhaps even had a village here.

 

Contact Information

Grant Woods
25405 West Monaville Road
Ingleside, IL 60041
 
Preserve

Preserve News

Preserve safety tips
Discovery Museum participates in Blue Star program
Board approves 100-year Vision and Strategic Plan
 

Upcoming Events

Sep 27 Walk on the Wildflower Side
Nov 8 Forest Fitness