Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Kishwaukee River

Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve is a historic and scenic preserve bisected by the Kishwaukee River. Very popular for river access, it receives a lot of use for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. An excellent canoe put in and take-out site. Its low gently sloping banks offer many spots to sit and fish, picnic or just watch the flowing waters glide by. The Kishwaukee River is considered to be one of the highest quality streams in Illinois due to its clean water and the diversity of life it supports. This preserve provides access to the south end of a 2.25-mile paved recreation trail and is a great place to park and then jump on the path for walking, biking or jogging. The primary vegetation here is mature woods, which make it a prime great spot for woodland birds.

Seasonal Highlights at Kishwaukee River:

This preserve is a popular destination year-round for many people who want to enjoy the river and the paved trail. The paved trail is cleared of snow offering a nice opportunity for walkers and joggers to enjoy the outdoors in winter.

In the warm summer months Kishwaukee River is a favorite because it is an ideal spot to enjoy the river. Fishing is excellent in the Kishwaukee and famous for smallmouth bass.

Fall birding is excellent in this preserve as migrating birds use the mature forests as a stopover.

Acres: 317.02
Access Road: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Picnic Tables: Yes
Shelterhouses: 2
Fort Vincennes: West side of river. Stone with fireplace, 80 max. people, 8 tables, 48 seats, No electricity, Vehicle access, 1 large grill.
Sleepy Hollow: East side of river. Wood shelter, 150 max. people, 22 tables, 132 seats, No electricity, No vehicle access, 2 large grills.
Playground Equipment: No
Ball Fields: No
Horseback Trails: No
Hiking Trails(miles): 1.0
Paved Trail:0.3
Campground Sites: No
Boat Launch: No
Canoe Launch: Yes
18 Hole Golf Course: No
Illinois Nature Preserve: No
Special Facilities: No
Donated Land: No
Natural Areas: Yes
All reservations subject to the GENERAL USE ORDINANCE.

Trail Map

Download a printable trail map here.


6303 Mulford Road & 5757 Blackhawk Road, Cherry Valley, IL 61016
3 miles southeast of city limits. Mulford Road to Blackhawk Road.

Shelterhouses 360° Views


Shelterhouse *Fees
Max People Tables Seating Electric Playground
Fort Vincennes $50 $75 80 8 48 No No
Sleepy Hollow $75 $100 150 22 132 No No

*Residents or non-residents of Winnebago County


Reservations are Non-refundable and Non-transferable

All shelters reservations are FULL day reservations. Shelter use is from 7:00am – Sunset. (Preserves close a half hour after sunset)

Shelters MUST be reserved 3 days in advance

$2.00 convenience fee added to credit card purchases