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Your Forest Preserves

your forest preserves

Maps

Des Plaines River Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide

Acreage

808 acres

Activities

Bicycling
Cross-Country Skiing
Hike Lake County Challenge
Hiking
Snowmobiling

Amenities

Horse Trailer Parking
Public Parking
Toilets
Trails

Related Sites 

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
Sedge Meadow Canoe Launch (Wadsworth Road)

Sedge Meadow

Construction Alert|Last Update Aug 21, 2014

Through the end of this year, ComEd will be working on improving the existing overhead transmission lines in their Right-of-Way. Trails will remain open. Please use caution, slow down and look for work crews along the way.Work begins late summer on a new underpass at Rollins Road just west of Route 45. Completion is expected in fall 2014.  

Sedge Meadow is a living laboratory designed to provide scientists the research opportunities to study the function of wetlands. Formerly part of the Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project, these controlled, experimental wetlands were constructed where abandoned farm fields and gravel pits once stood. 

The preserve has been restored to its natural state and is now thriving with prairies, meadows and fully functioning wetlands that provide flood control, wildlife habitat and improved water quality for the adjacent Des Plaines River.

Amenities

The preserve's main entrance offers 0.25 miles of gravel trails, toilets, and a large parking area with spots for horse and snowmobile trailers.

A separate canoe launch entrance and parking area is located just east of the preserve's main entrance. Fishing is available only at the canoe launch.

You can access the Des Plaines River Trail from either entrance.

During winter months when conditions allow, the preserve's main parking area is open extended hours for snowmobilers who can ride for 8 miles along the Des Plaines River Trail from Russell Road to just south of Sedge Meadow. Snowmobile trails are open from 6:30 am to 11 pm, Sunday–Thursday, and 6:30 am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Location

Sedge Meadow is located in northeast Lake County in Wadsworth. [View on Google Maps]

The preserve's main entrance and parking area is located on the south side of Wadsworth Road, east of Route 41 and west of the Des Plaines River Trail.

A separate canoe launch entrance and parking area (formerly known as the Wadsworth Road Canoe Launch) is located on Wadsworth Road just east of the preserve's main entrance.

  • Fishing is available only at the canoe launch. 
  • You can access the Des Plaines River Trail from either entrance.
 

History

Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project

Wetlands Research, Inc. was formed in 1983 as a joint venture between the Lake County Forest Preserves and the Chicago-based Openlands Project, a private conservation organization, to manage construction and research of the wetland project, which encompassed much of Sedge Meadow Forest Preserve. 

For nearly 30 years, scientists worked at this preserve testing wetland design principles, construction methods and management programs necessary to recreate and maintain wetlands for flood control, water quality management and wildlife habitat. The project concluded in December 2012. Read the final report.

 

The Natural Scene

Before restoration work began here, the land had been drained for farmland, mined for sand and gravel and then abandoned. Most of the original wetlands had been destroyed.

Today, the river, once obscured by weedy overgrowth, is visible through a rehabilitated oak grove. The prairies and meadows have been restored, and the wetlands are again functioning to provide flood control, wildlife habitat and to improve water quality in the river.

 
© Kim Karpeles

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