What To Know
Forest Glen County Preserve is a local favorite with over 1900 Acres of forest located 7 miles east of Westville, Illinois.
Filled with an abundance of Beech-Maple Trees, Wildlife, Trails, Camping and other attractions.
Famous for the 72-foot tall observation tower and Homemade Maple Syrup, made on-site from sap extracted from Forest Glen Sugar Maple trees.
Why is Forest Glen significant?
- Beech-Maple Forest indicative of the forests of the eastern US
- 220 different species of birds documented
- Ranked botanically in the State of Illinois flora and fauna species
- Contains several threatened and endangered species
- Geology and coal mine history
Special Features of Forest Glen
- 72-foot tall observation tower; one of only four of its kind in Illinois
- Quarter mile paved Beech Grove Trail; ADA accessible
- Sycamore Hollow Education Campus
- Tree Research Area
- Michael G. Reddy Arboretum
- Doris L. Westfall Prairie Illinois State Nature Preserve
- Pioneer Homestead for historical interpretation and special events
- Maple Syrup Production site; one of the top five maple syrup producers in Illinois
- River Ridge Backpack Trail; an 10.5-mile easy-to-rugged hiking trail
- Campgrounds include Family Campground, Tent Campgrounds, Group Campgrounds, back-pack trail camping, and a canoe-base camp along the Vermilion River
- Busby-Meyer Wildlife Area; prairie restoration area. Public pheasant hunting, in season (Registration & fee required)
72-foot tall observation tower; one of only four of its kind in Illinois.
The Lorna J. Konsis Visitor Center, previously Staff Office, was rededicated in August of 2017 with financial assistance from the VCC Foundation. Lorna Konsis worked here from 1987 until her death in February of 2017. The Visitor Center office helps with building & shelter rentals, maps, and park information.
Register for your campsite, get your park maps, firewood, or our famous maple syrup and more.
Gannett Outdoor Education Center
The Gannet Education Center hosts thousands of Pre-K, Elementary, Jr. and Senior High, and College students annually through the VCCD Outdoor School Program, Day Visits, and higher learning program opportunities. The VCC Foundation helps financially with printing costs of the Outdoor School Workbooks and has pledged $75,000 toward the Education Center’s building upgrades which began in 2020.
Sycamore Hollow Nature Center
Visited by thousands of park visitors and students annually, this Nature Center offers nature displays, history, and live animal exhibits.
RV & Travel Trailer Campground
The Modern Family Campgrounds offers 34 electric sites; 8 non-electric. There are 14 tent-only sites located in a forested area. No Reservations; first-come, first-serve only
Willow Creek Pond
The 7-acre pond located near Audubon Barn invites visitors to fish, kayak, canoe, and launch small boats with trolling motors from the small boat ramp.
Hegeler Covered Bridge
This Red covered bridge is a gift of the Julius W. Hegeler II Foundation in 2001
The Sugar Bush houses the evaporator where sugar maple sap is made into Forest Glen Maple Syrup.
An 1800’s style log cabin used for educational and historic programs and events. Complete with barn and small kitchen garden.
Maple Grove Lodge
Available for event and party rental, it was constructed in 1996. The VCCF funded $8,000 of upgrades to help make this Forest Glen’s most popular building. By reservation only
Heritage Memorial Forest
Located along the road on the south boundary, the Memorial Forest serves as a tribute to the memory of a loved one or signifies a special occasion or event. 450 trees have been planted there. The Heritage Memorial Forest Program was discontinued in 2007.
A part of the Sycamore Hollow Campus, the Urbas Classroom is used for Outdoor School Programs.
Forest Glen contains 4 dedicated Illinois Nature Preserves.
Beech Grove Trail
Constructed in 1976, the 1/3 mi. asphalt trail was repaved in 2020 with help from the Middle Fork Audubon Society, Wheeler Foundation, and VCC Foundation. The VCC Foundation procured a grant for an ADA-accessible restroom to be constructed in the trail area and assisted with funding for the trail renovation.
Busby-Meyer Wildlife Area
Purchased with the assistance of the VCC Foundation, Vermilion County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and others, 110 acres of agricultural land was dedicated on May 16, 2010, as the Busby-Meyer Wildlife Area. The prairie renewal project parcel is open to the public for pheasant hunting, in season. (Registration and fee required)
Homemade Maple Syrup
Forest Glen Maple Syrup has been produced since the 1980s, mainly for educational value. Syrup became available for purchase to the public in 1989.
VCCF Directors now volunteer during the annual Maple Syrup Open House, held on the third Sunday in March.
- Maple Grove Modernization Project
- Purchase of 11 acres of agricultural ground in the Forest Glen Entrance
- Purchase of agriculture land with Pheasants Forever local chapter
- Long Range Project: Playground Equipment Replacement