22890 N. Old McHenry Road
Lake Zurich,IL 60047
242 acres
6:30 am–sunset, daily.

Heron Creek

Here you'll find valuable natural resources and sensitive wetlands in a country-like setting.


Explore 2.5 miles of gravel trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our Off-Leash Dog Areas (permit required).


An innovative playground provides a colorful series of tunnels, slides, ladders, bridges, decks and swings for children to climb and explore. The playground has two separate areas, one for ages 2–5, and one for ages 5–12. Much of the playground is ramped for handicapped accessibility. There is also a sand pit, and lookout stations with views into the woods.



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More About This Preserve

The Natural Scene

The preserve features rolling landscape of scenic woodlands, wetlands and wide-open fields, all creating exceptional wildlife habitat. Considered a birdwatcher's paradise, more than 116 species of birds have been observed here, including a resident population of waterfowl and herons--the site's namesake. Six state endangered bird species, black tern, black-crowned night heron, yellow-crowned night heron, osprey, Forster's tern, and three state threatened bird species, brown creeper, pied-billed grebe and red-shouldered hawk have been found in the area.

With its gently rolling contours and hilltops, Heron Creek contains the south branch of Indian Creek which offers exceptional wildlife habitat and plant communities including a sedge meadow. The creek traverses the property west to east, exiting in the southeast corner where the site adjoins the Reed Turner Nature Preserve.

Where their borders meet, Heron Creek and Reed Turner Nature Preserve share some of the same natural elements including similar plant species, great horned owls nesting in the oaks at the top of a ridge and a habitat for many different bird species. This area of the site also contains mature oak/hickory forest species.


Heron Creek opened to the public on Friday, October 10, 2008, following completion of habitat restoration and public access improvements.

Dedicated in 1980, the adjacent Reed Turner Nature Preserve owned and managed by the Long Grove Park District, is a remnant of a pre-settlement prairie grove, which once occurred along Indian Creek. The Indian Creek basin, which flows through Heron Creek, is an Advanced Identification Wetland (ADID), the highest wetland classification in Lake County.