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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation

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Sedge Meadow



Address

15615 West Wadsworth Road
Wadsworth, IL 60083

Hours

6:30 am–sunset, daily.

Maps

Trail Map
Directions

Acreage

808 acres

Activities

Biking
Hike Lake County Challenge
Hiking
Snowmobiling
Cross-Country Skiing

Amenities

Public Parking
Toilets
Trails
Horse Trailer Parking

Related Sites

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
Sedge Meadow Canoe Launch

Related Documents

Countywide Map and Guide

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.

Trails and Canoe Launch

The preserve's main entrance offers 0.25 miles of gravel trails. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our off-leash Dog Parks (permit required).

A separate canoe launch entrance 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–11 pm, Sunday–Thursday, and 6:30 am–midnight, Fridays and Saturdays.

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.

Location

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

A separate canoe launch entrance 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.

PHOTOS

 
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