[Image Description: the rocky shoreline of the Kishwaukee River with trees lining the riverbanks. The trees display an array of fall colors.]

Kishwaukee Gorge Forest Preserve (North) is located on 127.6 acres of land, nestled in the southern end of the county, along the Kishwaukee River. Kishwaukee Gorge North does have a southern counterpart, located across the river from Kishwaukee Gorge North, although Kishwaukee Gorge South does not feature trails and is undeveloped. At Kishwaukee Gorge North, there are 3.1 miles of trails. These trails take you on a journey around the prairie, through the woodlands, and down the steep steps of the gorge. 

These steps are made of metal at the top and wood at the bottom. While they can be steep, there are places to pause and take a moment to admire the gorge. This gorge is a unique geological formation to our area. At the bottom of the ravine, you will find yourself on the rocky shoreline of the Kishwaukee River. 

The restored prairie features all of our favorite prairies plants, such as purple coneflowers and prairie dock. In the fall, you can admire the variety of grasses. To help keep this prairie healthy, the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County conducts prescribed burns. In the woodlands, you can view the large, twisted oaks, maples, and sumacs. This is a great location to embrace the changing of the seasons with the fall foliage. Enjoy the magic of winter with cross-country skiing (trails aren’t groomed) or hiking! Throughout the seasons, you can spot local wildlife and birds. 

This preserve is the perfect place for options in your hiking. Stay on the mowed trails for an easy-going hike, or descend the stairs of the gorge for a bit of a challenge. Either way, you are sure to have a lovely experience!

Watch this video to learn more about Kishwaukee Gorge North Forest Preserve:

Kishwaukee Gorge North Forest Preserve is located at 4643 Blackhawk Road, Cherry Valley, IL 61016

Visit the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County’s page on Kishwaukee Gorge North Forest Preserve here

Map of Kishwaukee Gorge North Forest Preserve

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