Waukegan Savanna

38820 North Delany Road
Wadsworth,IL 60083
774 acres
6:30 am–sunset, daily.

Waukegan Savanna

Within the preserve are two unique special use areas. Each area has a separate entrance off of York House Road. Permits are required for use. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our Off-Leash Dog Areas (permit required).

Waukegan Savanna Horse-Drawn Vehicle Use Area: A gravel parking lot located off York House Road just west of Delany Road provides access to grass trails designed for horse-drawn vehicle use. Sleighs, horse carts and gigs can use this area. Entrance is on the north side of York House Road just west of Delaney Road. Permit required for horse-drawn vehicle use. Hikers using this area must keep dogs leashed and on the grass trails at all times, and pick up after them. Hikers must yield to horse-drawn vehicles. 

Waukegan Savanna Off-Leash Dog Area: At this 11-acre Off-Leash Dog Area, dogs can run and play off-leash. It is entirely fenced and has a separate enclosed area for small dogs. The entrance is on York House Road just east of Delany. Learn more about all five of our Off-Leash Dog Areas.

Preserve Planning

A Master Plan has been completed and approved for this site. It outlines future recreation improvements and natural resource restoration activities that will occur at Waukegan Savanna. Learn more »

The planning process consisted of three phases:

1. Inventory, Analysis & Program Development–Spring/Summer 2009

Information was gathered about the site and project program ideas were developed through public input and assessment of our overall needs. A public open house was held in May to present site inventory and analysis information about the preserve and gather public input about future plan ideas. In addition, an online Information and Interest Survey was conducted to gather public input. View survey results.

Site inventory and analysis findings

The following maps were presented at the public open house:

  • 1939 Historic Aerial Photograph
  • Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve Context Map
  • Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve Parcels Map
  • Site Inventories - Hydrology, Vegetation, Topography

2. Concept Plan Alternatives–Fall 2009

Based on public input and our overall needs, two master plan concept alternatives were developed. The plan alternatives illustrate potential natural resource, recreation and restoration activities, and how they might be integrated into the site.

A public open house was held in November 2009, and an online survey was conducted to provide opportunity for public comment on the plans. This input was used to develop the Conceptual Master Plan.

3. Conceptual Master Plan–Spring/Summer 2010

A preliminary Conceptual Master Plan was designed for the preserve, and reflects a combination of ideas from both of the concept alternatives previously reviewed by the public. A public open house was held on April 20, 2010, to give the public a chance to comment on the proposed preliminary conceptual master plan.

4. Plan Approval–September 14, 2010

The Conceptual Master Plan was approved by the Board of Commissioners, and will be implemented as part of the Capital Improvement Plan budget process.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the master planning process. Your input and time are appreciated.

Questions or comments? Call or email Landscape Architect Susan Hall at 847-968-3270.



  • WASA-20000707-001
  • WASA-20081021-001
  • WASA-20081021-002
  • WASA-20081021-003
  • WASA-20081021-004
  • WASA-20081021-005

More About This Preserve

The Natural Scene

Waukegan Savanna is 774 acres of gently rolling terrain with a mix of agriculture fields, oak woodlands with spring woodland flowers, open fields with native prairie plants, and a meandering stream bordered by wetlands and woodlands. This variance in habitat supports a variety of birds including goldfinches, black-capped chickadees, ruby-crowned kinglet and red-tailed hawk.


The preserve is composed of many individual parcels situated on the west and east sides of Delany Road between Wadsworth Road and York House Road, and on the west and east side of Northwestern Avenue to Green Bay Road between York House Road and Blanchard Road. Some parcels are located within Wadsworth, others in Waukegan.


The entrance for the grass hiking trails and the Dog Sled Area is located on York House Road west of Delany Road. A permit is required for use.

A separate entrance for the Off-Leash Dog Area is located on York House Road east of Delany Road. A permit is required for use. 

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