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Your Forest Preserves

your forest preserves

Maps

Greenbelt Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide
Dugdale Lake Fishing Map
Pulaski Lake Fishing Map
Directions

Acreage

597 acres

Activities

Bicycling
Cross-Country Skiing
Fishing
Hiking
Picnic Shelter Rental
Playground
Self-Guided Trails & Exhibits
Walk With Docs

Amenities

Drinking Water
Picnic Shelters
Picnic Tables
Playground
Public Parking
Toilets
Trails

Related Sites 

Greenbelt Cultural Center

Picnic Shelters

Shelter A
Shelter B
Shelter C
Shelter D
 

Greenbelt

Alert: Construction to replace the toilet at the Dugdale parking lot will begin in late July. The current facility will be in operation until the new toilet is in place. Please exercise caution in this area.

 

Tucked into Lake County's most urban area is this island of green. A surprising array of birds, wildflowers and landscapes are found here, and the amenities are clean, safe and well-designed. The site also is home to the Greenbelt Cultural Center, a multi-purpose facility designed with help from the public. The Center hosts annual summer concerts, events, educational programs and other activities.

The preserve offers 5 miles of trails for hiking, 4 miles of trails for bicycling and cross-country skiing, and a 1-mile self-guided nature trail.

Teachers can enhance their classroom work with a field trip to Greenbelt. Environmental education and history programs emphasize fun and adventure, and let children take a hands-on approach to nature. Exclusive to Greenbelt is the Crane Chronicles program, in which fourth and fifth graders become newspaper reporters and investigate wild crane populations in Lake County.

Green Youth Farm of Lake County Farm Stand—Purchase Fresh Produce

Each summer, teens work at the Green Youth Farm of Lake County Farm Stand at Greenbelt to grow organic produce while learning about organic gardening skills, leadership, team-building and real-world job training. Offered in partnership with the Chicago Botanic Garden. Purchase fresh produce at harvest stand days summer through fall.

Find other farmers markets in Lake County.

 

Location

Greenbelt Forest Preserve is located in North Chicago.

The main entrance to the preserve is located on the west side of Green Bay Road, south of Route 120 (Belvidere Road) in North Chicago, directly across from the entrance to the Greenbelt Cultural Center.

A second parking lot is located on Dugdale Road, just south of 10th Street in Waukegan. Use this lot to access trails and fishing on the east side of the preserve.

 

History

An ancient path is central to much of Greenbelt's history. Today we call it Green Bay Road and it cuts the property in half. About 200 years ago, the trail was used by Native Americans looking for a high and dry passage through the area's lowlands. They were joined by fur traders in the late 1700s and replaced by soldiers and mail carriers traveling from Chicago to Green Bay (hence the road's name). When frontier surveyors arrived in Lake County in the 1830s, this was the only major road.

One early resident of this land was Alfred Bennett, brother of Lake County's first African American settler, Amos Bennett. Born to freed slaves in 1805 in New York, Alfred came to Lake County when he was 42 and lived at his brother's home in Gurnee. Five years later he bought 40 acres on the preserve's east side for a farm. After just two years he moved to Michigan. James Dugdale was also born in 1805. He came here from Ireland and farmed land from about 1840 to 1870. Dudgale Road borders Greenbelt on the east.

We began to purchase land at this site in 1971.

 

The Natural Scene

Greenbelt sits atop the sub-continental divide, marked by Green Bay Road. Rain falling on the east side of Green Bay Road heads for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but rain falling on the west side heads for the Gulf of Mexico.

This is a fairly open landscape of oak groves, wetlands and prairie. Like most natural areas in this region, Greenbelt has felt the effect of 150 years of settlement. We’re nursing it back to health with success. Once again you can find wildflowers such as shooting stars, blue-eyed grass and mayapples here.

 

Preserve News

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

Upcoming Events

Aug 16 Afro/Jamaicafest