[Image description: a horseshoe shaped bend in the creek that runs through Barrick Oaks Homestead Preserve. Along the bank is ice and small amounts of snow. Tall grasses line the banks on either side. In the distance, trees line the horizon. On the right of the image, a semi-translucent white box sits with the words “Welcome to Byron Forest Preserve District” written in brown.]

We are proud to introduce our newest 815 Outside partner organization – Byron Forest Preserve District! Byron Forest Preserve District is located in Ogle County, IL, just south of Winnebago County. They have 8 preserves with over 2,300 acres of land to enjoy. Along with these preserves, they offer many other ways to enjoy nature, through the Jarrett Prairie Center, Weiskopf Observatory, Keller Education Center, and more! Their mission is to preserve natural areas, educate about the natural environment and heritage, and provide recreational opportunities. Byron Forest Preserve District offers free and low cost programs for all ages throughout the year and their trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

At the Jarrett Prairie Center, you can learn about our natural history through displays and signage. You’ll also get a gorgeous view of the vast prairie. Enjoy sledding on the big hill next to the Jarrett Prairie Center during the winter months, or try your hand at cross country skiing. Right next door, you can visit the Weiskopf Observatory on Saturday nights. Get a glimpse of space from right here in the 815! When you visit preserves, try to find one (or many!) of the 41 geocaches. Once you’ve found 10 geocaches, head back to the Jarrett Prairie Center to collect a special prize! 

At the preserves, you are sure to see many unique species. Beaver enjoy the many creeks that run through their preserves, especially the creek at Barrick Oaks Homestead Preserve. At Bald Hill Prairie Preserve, enjoy the native grasses and wildflowers in the prairie. Make your way along the trail to visit the State Champion Eastern Cottonwood! Howard Colman Hall Creek Preserve is an excellent place to scope out spring ephemerals. Nardi Equine Preserve has 10 miles of trails and allows for horseback riding. It is also the perfect stopover for many migratory birds. 

There is so much to enjoy and explore through the Byron Forest Preserve District! We are excited to have them as a partner organization of 815 Outside and we hope you are excited too! Please give them a warm welcome and we look forward to seeing you attend events and out on their trails.

Watch this video to learn more about Byron Forest Preserve District: 

Byron Forest Preserve District is located at 7993 North River Road, Byron, IL 61010

Visit the Byron Forest Preserve District’s page on their preserves here.

Translate »

Find your place to get outside!

Sign up to get ideas to get active & have outdoor fun in Winnebago County!

You have successfully subscribed!