Nelson Lake Marsh is without question, one of the largest and finest natural areas in Kane County. This wet hole is a product of a late melting ice mass from the last retreating glaciers some 10,000 years. Also beneath this basin runs an older subglacial, bed rock canyon and surrounding gravel hills combine to furnish an abundant and complex source of water that thwarted early pioneer attempts to drain the area for agricultural use and consequently much of the original rich habitat remains intact.
Here reside the County's largest and most diverse collection of wetland plants containing at least five State endangered species and correspondingly, here resides other rare and endangered birds and wildlife. Small wonder it has its own organized fan club and supporters and it is one of the most visited preserves by school groups from kindergartners to university graduate school classes.
Dick Young is located on Nelson Lake Road, west of Batavia. It is a 250-acre natural marshland and an Illinois State Nature Preserve. Visitors to Dick Young may enjoy hiking and wildlife observation.
This preserve includes a horseback riding area. Most horse trails are natural surface, mowed grass paths. Limestone screenings trails and asphalt bike trails are available in some of the preserves. These are multi-use trails shared with runners, bicyclists, dog walkers etc. Horse riders are required to stay on designated, forest preserve-maintained trails. Trail riding is not allowed in restricted natural areas, Illinois Nature Preserves, picnic areas or in farmed areas. To prevent trail damage during wet weather, trails may be temporarily closed. Individual forest preserves will post a sign at the entrance when horse trails are closed. Trails are currently OPEN for equestrian use at this preserve.