Warbler Ridge Conservation Area
Over 1000 acres of natural area contiguous with Woodyard Conservation Area and Fox Ridge State Park.
Over 10 miles of trails.
Upland forest with deep ravines.
Floodplain forest and wetland reconstruction projects along the Embarras River.
Bat habitat restoration and reforestation projects.
Pollinator habitat plantings.
Beautiful views and access to the Embarras River.
Just at the edge of the Wisconsin glacier’s furthest southern reach, lies the rolling ravines of Warbler Ridge. The Warbler Ridge preserves are part of an extensive woodland corridor running along the Embarras River for more than eight miles from Charleston to Fox Ridge State Park. The 42-acre Warbler Bluff, also part of the conservation area, sits a few miles northeast of this corridor and offers tremendous views from high above the Embarras River.
This 1,059-acre property consists of woodlands, prairies, wetlands, and river shoreline owned and managed by Grand Prairie Friends since 2011.
This upland deciduous forest boasts a hearty spring wildflower display and a fiery fall foliage show, usually only viewed by the abundant audience of migrating and resident songbirds. The bottoms adjacent to the Embarras River, floods in the spring and then reveals three wetlands among blooming prairie.
Warbler Ridge includes five areas protected within the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission system. These include Warbler Woods Nature Preserve, Embarras Ridge Land and Water Reserve, and Warbler Woods North Land and Water Reserve, Warbler Bottoms North Land and Water Reserve, and Warbler Landing Land and Water Reserve. For these reasons, we encourage you to be mindful during your stay- taking only pictures and leaving only footprints.
Thanks to grant support from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, a meandering foot-traffic path passes through four Warbler Ridge areas. Visitors are invited to hike the approximate four-mile (one way) trail which begins at Bypass Road and terminates at Daileyville Rd. Limited parking areas are available at each trail head and the midpoint. As protected preserves, visitors should be prepared with their own amenities as visitor site restrooms and potable water are not available on-site.
CONTROLLED HUNT AT WARBLER RIDGE
To enter the Fall 2021 lottery, visit th the Illinois Recreational Access Program to conduct a controlled archery deer hunting program October 1-31 and December 16-31, 2021. Hunting areas are assigned by lottery and only site permit holders may hunt at Warbler Ridge Conservation Area.
October 1-31 and December 16-31, 2021: No persons, except IRAP permit holders, are allowed into the Warbler Bottoms area (550N.) by car or walking, this includes the North and South River Trails. Refer to map for exact trail and access closures. Upland trails including Warbler Trail, Warbler Loop, Cemetery Ridge trail will remain open.
South on IL 130 from Charleston for 3.5 mi to Daileyville Rd. West on winding Daileyville Rd to a small rocked parking lot on the right. Red shack is near trail-head and Preserve access.
South trail head:
17161 Daileyville Road, Charleston IL 61920
Lat: 39.436676 Long: -88.144113
North trail head:
Bypass Rd, Charleston, IL 61920
Lat: 39.453315 Long: -88.142568
Midpoint trail head:
E Co Rd 550N, Charleston IL 61920
(dead-end road accessed only from Bypass Rd)
Lat: 39.442627 Long: -88.155808
Directions to the Preserve
Preserve is open for public access dawn to dusk. Portions of this preserve are an Illinois Land and Water Reserve or Nature Preserve and no living or dead plant or animal material, or inorganic material including soils, minerals, or water, may be removed. We encourage you to come out for hiking, bird watching, nature observation and study, and photography.