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

Hike Colored Sands Forest Preserve

Colored Sands Forest Preserve, by Bethany Edwards
Entrance at 10602 Hass Road, Durand, IL

Colored Sands is a truly unique forest preserve composed of many interesting pieces. Colored Sands is famous for the Sand Bluff Bird Observatory which plays a vital role both locally and nationally in understanding the present condition of bird species. The volunteers who run this research facility love to have curious visitors stop by to learn about bird banding. The southern third of the preserve is an Illinois dedicated natural area. A special place kept in its natural state that holds many endangered or threatened plant and animal species. The pristine Sugar River flows down the west side of the preserve, with canoe launch access near the parking lot. All of these unique features and more can be seen while hiking the multiple terrain trail system at the preserve.

Colored Sands has 2.8 miles of hiking trails that run through savanna, prairie, and woodlands, with views of the Sugar River, and a tall lookout off the sand bluff. When first pulling into the preserve and looking east you will see a beautiful sand prairie where you will begin your hike. The trail here is a mixture of sand and grass and at times has somewhat of an incline so, sturdy shoes are recommended. The hike itself is fairly easy and quite enjoyable. Expect lots of beautiful views, and to be serenaded by the beautiful songs of the birds and forest life!

Click here for a printable Colored Sands trail map.