The land on which the Everett Farm Nature Preserve sits was once an active tree nursery offering evergreens and deciduous trees along with some varieties not commonly found in this section of Illinois. It lay unused for an extended time, until the Lake Forest Open Lands Association (LFOLA) purchased the land and turned it into a dog-friendly nature preserve. Its 35 acres contain several different mini-habitats with trails where you and your fur-buddy can explore, spy wildlife and get close to the natural world.
Dogs are welcome on the trails, and can be unleashed except when in view of other people and animals, but must be under voice control at all times. Splashing around in the stream and wetlands is frowned upon. The number of birds and other wildlife may make it difficult for the pooch to stay on the trails, so be forewarned.
About 20 species of birds live here or migrate through in spring and fall, including robins, jays, cowbirds and raptors like hawks and owls. Elk can be seen prowling among the trees and on the flatlands and marshes and the prairie is home to butterflies and wildflowers like lovely cream gentian.
The preserve contains 2 circular trails that overlap, with access trails from the trailhead at James Court, totaling about 2.5 miles. The well-maintained grassy trails are surrounded by sedge and other prairie grasses where you and Fido will detect mice and other small rodents. A stream and pond flow through the northwestern section of the park, and you may spy deer here.
Common canine courtesy is expected and enforced here, including promptly picking up your fur-baby's waste and carrying it out with you. The preserve asks that dogs also be registered with them to acquire a parking decal to use the free lot.
This quiet, low-key preserve is pawrfect for a short hike and/or bird-watching outing with your furry bestie. Mostly level and easy, with diverse landscape to enjoy, it's worthy of a trip with your furry furiend. Don't forget your binoculars and camera!