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Your Forest Preserves

your forest preserves


Millennium Trail - Lakewood to Singing Hills
Fort Hill Trail Map
Lakewood Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide
Millennium Trail Regional Map
Acorn Pond and Beaver Lake Fishing Map
Banana and Taylor Lakes Fishing Map
Heron Pond Fishing Map


2805 acres


Cross-Country Skiing
Hike Lake County Challenge
Horseback Riding
Ice Fishing
Ice Skating
Picnic Shelter Rental
Self-Guided Trails & Exhibits
Summer Camps
Youth Group Camping


Drinking Water
Horse Trailer Parking
Picnic Shelters
Picnic Tables
Public Parking

Related Sites 

Fort Hill Trail
Lake County Discovery Museum
Lake County History Archives
Lakewood Dog Exercise Area
Millennium Trail and Greenway

Picnic Shelters

Shelter A
Shelter B
Shelter C
Shelter E


Lakewood is Lake County's largest forest preserve. This site is home to the Lake County Discovery Museum, the Curt Teich Postcard Archives and the Lake County History Archives.

This preserve features dedicated equestrian trails and additional trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Biking is not allowed on the preserve's trails, only along sections of the Millennium Trail and the Fort Hill Trail as they run north through Lakewood. Trail tunnels for both of these regional trails allow for continuous travel and easy passage under Route 176.


Other preserve amenities include an off-leash Dog Exercise Area, picnic shelters, a variety of fishing ponds, and a lighted Winter Sports Area. 



Lakewood Forest Preserve is located in Wauconda. [View on Google Maps]

The main entrance (to Museum, Archives and Shelters C and E) is located on Route 176, just west of Fairfield Road.

Another key entrance and parking area for Shelters A and B is located at the intersection of Ivanhoe and Fairfield Roads: go east for the Winter Sports Area and Millennium Trail access; west for Shelters A and B, horse and snowmobile trailer parking.

The Dog Exercise Area entrance is on the east side of Fairfield Road just north of Route 176. A daily or annual permit is required for use.

Our Operations and Public Safety Facility, previously located at Lakewood, has moved to Lake Villa, on the north side of Grand Avenue, west of Route 45. 



From roughly 1835 to 1865, this site's forested areas were divided into 5- and 10-acre parcels used by local farmers as a source of firewood and lumber. After the Civil War, small farms dominated the property.

In 1937, Malcolm Boyle, a general contractor from Chicago, made his first of many purchases here and created Lakewood Farms, a country estate. Over the next 20 years, his farm became one of Lake County's largest, with livestock, orchards, gardens and crops. Boyle landscaped the ponds, dug Banana Lake and built 16 major buildings.

In 1961, Howard Quinn purchased the 1,250-acre farm and converted it into a large dairy ranch, which operated until 1965. In 1968, our acquisition at Lakewood began and has continued in stages for more than 30 years. You can still identify the large show barn, the chicken coop and the bull barn that are part of the Museum complex.


The Natural Scene

Lakewood is home to 24 threatened and endangered species. On the west side of the preserve is the 70-acre Wauconda Bog. It is ringed by poison sumac and a natural moat, and is so ecologically valuable it is designated as a National Natural Landmark and an Illinois Nature Preserve. Another area of note is Broberg Marsh, home to a variety of wetland birds. Its habitat provides one of the best breeding spots in the county for birds. 

This landscape is a mixture of oak woods, wetlands and fields. You'll also find farmlands and groves of evergreens. A lot of wildlife lives here and if you're observant, you may even spot one of the bats from the colony living near Shelter E. These shy mammals sleep while picnickers have their fun, and then awake at dusk to eat thousands of mosquitoes and other bugs.


© LCFPD4098

Preserve News

Take an evening hike along solar-lit trails
2015 Picnic Shelter Reservations Now Open
Rainbow Trout Season Opens at Lakewood

Upcoming Events

Nov 5 Habitat Walks for Seniors

Preserve Improvements

Millennium Trail and Greenway Improvements