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Colored Sands Forest Preserve by Bethany Edwards

Entrance at 10602 Hass Road, Durand, IL

Colored Sands has 2.8 miles of hiking trails that run through a savanna prairie and wood areas. When first pulling into the park you can look to your east you will see a beautiful sand prairie. This is where our trek of the main trail, which is a two mile loop, began. The trail here is a mixture of sand and grass and at times has somewhat of an incline. The hike itself was fairly easy and quite enjoyable. During our hike we enjoyed lots of beautiful views, and were serenaded by the beautiful songs of the birds and forest life. However due to the multiple terrains of dirt, grass, and sand I would recommend that a shoe with strong ankle support be worn.

At the Colored Sands Forest Preserve is the Sand Bluff Bird Observatory. Their hours are Saturday from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. till 12 p.m. in spring and fall. The Sand Bluff Bird Observatory is run completely by volunteers and allows for visitors and group tours. www.sandbluff.org

This preserve protects and provides homes to an abundant array of both plants and animals.  Along with hiking and the bird banding station there are many other accommodations and activities that can be enjoyed at the Colored Sands Forest Preserve. Some of the accommodations provided to make your visit more enjoyable are: restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, Canoe access, and rest areas along the trails.  Some other activities allowed at this site are: cross country skiing in the winter, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.  The park also allows Dogs as long as they are leashed.