Nature Centers/Reserves

Relax among stretches of serene greenery at Beloit’s many reserves and nature centers.

Nature lovers are welcome to walk or bike through our serene trails. Other than this, you can relax among oak woodlands, prairie restoration areas, and wetlands. Or take a canoe or kayak trip on the creek. Be on the lookout for woodland birds! You can also spot monarch butterflies, and different types of wildflower!

Looking for family-friendly activities? Visit our nature centers! These retreats offer activities and classes for all ages. Check out pollinator gardens and tasting gardens. The centers also offer community activities and fun scavenger hunts! Walk among restored prairie and learn about local animals.

Read our blog post for more information.

Androne Woods

7355 Cleophas Rd.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 752-8342
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16 acres of partially restored oak woodland with 1.5 miles of trails. The woods are home to native birds and various plants. There is a small parking area and no restroom facilities. It is located south of Cleophas Road, just east of Smythe School Road.

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Cleophas Reserve

6690 W. Cleophas Rd.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 752-8342
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A 36 acre wetland along the East Branch Raccoon Creek, north of Cleophas road and east of Barnam Road. The area is being restored to native habitat. There are 3 miles of trails. Parking is across Cleophas Road at the Gabower Reilly Wetland.

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Colored Sands Forest Preserve

10602 Haas Road
Rockton, IL 61072
P: (815) 877-6100
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306-acres on the Sugar River known for birds, unique geology, and wildflowers. It offers outstanding panoramic views. Because of its sandy soil, Colored Sands Forest Preserve supports many plants, and their associated wildlife that are not found anywhere else in the county.

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Gabower-Reilly Reserve

6690 W. Cleophas Rd.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 752-8342
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28 acres of wetland, prairie and oak savanna. Raccoon Creek flows through the area - a naturally reproducing trout stream. There are 2 miles of trails, native plants, limited parking and no restroom facilities.

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Harper’s Prairie

2201 Whipple St.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 364-2890
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This small park offers a mowed walking trail around a pond. Prairie plants and water plants are abundant. No restrooms are available, but a wonderful trek into nature will be. Please check this place out the next time you're in the area.

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Hononegah Forest Preserve

#80 Hononegah Rd.
Rockton, IL 61072
P: (815) 877-6100
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Purchased in 1924, the preserve is located on the north bank of the Rock River and bisected by Dry Run Creek. Upon entering the preserve, visitors will enjoy the drive over the Rainbow Bridge and up into the cool maple grove. There are campsites and a boat launch.

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J. Norman Jensen Forest Preserve

14400 S. Bluff
Rockton, IL 61072
P: (815) 877-6100
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112.5 acres of land along the Rock River with scenic river vistas, prairie wetlands and natural areas. It is a popular fishing location and offers many opportunities to view the scenic Rock River. The loop hiking path traverses through a mix of prairie and forest landscape.

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Macktown Forest Preserve

2221 Freeport Rd.
Rockton, IL 61072
P: (815) 877-6100
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The first settlement in Winnebago County, founded in the 1830’s, gives this forest preserve its name. The confluence of the Pecatonica and Rock Rivers has attracted people throughout history and still hosts numerous people for historical reenactments, golf, boating & picnicking.

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Nature at the Confluence Learning Center

306 Dickop St.
South Beloit, IL 61080
P: (815) 200-6910
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They invite you to stop in for a visit to discover nature right in the middle of an urban area. They're located on property surrounded by the Rock River, Turtle Creek and Kelly Creek.

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Nygren Wetland Preserve

3109 W Rockton Rd.
Rockton, IL 61072
P: (815) 964-6666
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Nygren Wetland Preserve is a natural area owned and managed by Natural Land Institute with over 721 acres of prairies, wetlands, bottomland forest and Raccoon Creek that runs through it.

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Rhodes Arboretum

1012 E. Grand Ave.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 364-2890
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Home to beautiful trees that have been standing for years and peaceful views, enjoy a brisk walk on this lovely trail.

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Spring Creek Reserve

3488 W. Spring Creek Rd.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 752-8342
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Spring Creek reserve is a 33 acre prairie along Spring Creek just west of Beloit. There are 2.5 miles of trails. It is home to many native plants, including cup plants and coneflowers and much big bluestem.

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Stateline Restoration Prairie

540 Colby St.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 364-2890
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Offers 10 acres of tall grass, wild flowers and short trees. Site has an abundant collection of plants and animals and a plant species not easily found around the Stateline Area.

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Welty Environmental Center

1201 Big Hill Ct.
Beloit, WI 53511
P: (608) 361-1377
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Welty offers year round environmental education for all ages. It is a place where both children and adults have hands-on encounters with nature.

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