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Nippersink Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide


320 acres


Cross-Country Skiing
Picnic Shelter Rental
Summer Camps


Drinking Water
Picnic Shelters
Picnic Tables
Public Parking

Picnic Shelters

Shelter A
Shelter B
Shelter C
Shelter D


Previously a seasonal retreat for camping and recreational vehicles, this preserve is now a year-round haven for people and wildlife. Visitors enjoy trails, picnicking, bird watching and nature observation. Century-old oak trees that rise above two scenic lakes, and woodlands, wetlands and marshes offer plentiful habitat for wildlife.

Hike, bicycle or cross-country ski along 3 miles of trails circling the lakes and adjoining woodlands. The preserve trail joins the public sidewalk to the north across Nippersink Road offering access to surrounding communities. Also features a bridge, boardwalk and scenic overlooks. A short woodchip trail winds through open oak groves.

Extensive shoreline restoration efforts and improved fish habitats make Nippersink a great place to fish. Anglers can fish from shore or from two handicapped-accessible fishing piers. The lakes and streams are open only for catch-and-release fishing. Live bait is permitted. Please use barbless, non-stainless steel hooks.

The preserve also features five picnic shelters, four of which can be reserved for special outings. Gatherings of more than 25 people require a permit.

Other amenities include a boardwalk, scenic overlooks, drinking fountains, toilets and parking areas.

Public access improvements at this preserve were financed in part by funds from the voter-approved 2000 Bond Referendum.

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Nippersink Forest Preserve is located in Round Lake. [View on Google maps]

The entrance is located on Route 120 (Belvidere Road), just west of Cedar Lake Road and east of Fairfield Road.



Nippersink was acquired in various stages beginning in 2002. The most recent acquisition, formerly the Country Lakes Resort for camping and recreational vehicles, was acquired in 2004. The preserve’s two lake were man-made in 1965 and total 13 acres. 


The Natural Scene

Portions of Nippersink are listed on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, which identifies rare communities, rare species and high quality natural areas statewide that are in need of protection. Several threatened and endangered species have been identified here.

The site contains extensive Advanced Identification (ADID) wetlands that create emergent marsh areas. The wetlands, marsh vegetation and open water ponds, combined with the uplands and oak-hickory woodlands, offer an excellent blend of landscapes ideal for increasing and protecting the site’s bird population. A portion of Squaw Creek flows through the property.

© Chip Williams

Preserve News

2015 Picnic Shelter Reservations Now Open
ALERT: Trail Closures
Preserve safety tips

Upcoming Events

Nov 29 Forest Fitness