LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve a popular destination for both passive and active recreation, with high-quality prairie, woodland, and Ferson Creek meandering through the preserve.
The site also serves as home to Creek Bend Nature Center
– the hub of the Forest Preserve District's Environmental Education program. Cultural gems such as the Durant House Museum and Pioneer Sholes School are also located at LeRoy Oakes.
Contained in the preserve is a true prairie relic (the Murray prairie), prairie restorations (including the Bob Horlock area), meandering Ferson Creek, flood plain forests, seeps, oak woodlands and grassy fields. Also, the only native colony of Speckled Alder is growing here along Ferson Creek. Seeds of prairie plants have been sown across approximately 40 acres of old fields, both north and south of Dean Street.
The site itself is varied and beautiful, with over 130 feet of elevation difference from the crest in the center of the property to Ferson Creek.
Further, LeRoy Oakes serves as the trail head for the Great Western Trail. The Great Western Trail connects to the Mid-County trail that winds through LeRoy Oakes before heading north along Randall Road.
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.
The Durant House Museum
, as well as the Pioneer Sholes School
, are listed on State and National Registers and are available for tours by reservation. For Pioneer Sholes School group reservations, please call 630-377-6424.