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

Blackhawk Springs

One of Winnebago County’s largest forest preserves, this 629.9-acre tract is heavily wooded, and provides a wealth of fishing and hiking activities. Blackhawk Springs has 7.5 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails, and a 2.3-mile scenic, paved recreation path. Walking the trails here will lead you to an exploration of flower-filled prairies, cool shady woodlands, the glistening Kishwaukee River, and a lovely little bubbling natural spring.

The beautiful and healthy Kishwaukee River makes this preserve a favorite destination in summer. Whether you want to enjoy the flowing stream as you hike, bike, jog or push a stroller on the paved path, or sit on the shady bank and fish, this is an ideal spot to enjoy rippling waters. And don’t forget to visit in the winter when the paved trail is cleared of snow offering a nice opportunity for walkers and joggers to enjoy the outdoors year-round.

Seasonal Highlights: Woodland wildflowers are a spring treat in the mature woods on the east side of the preserve. May is the best time to see trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits, may apples, and other shade-loving early blooms. Blackhawk Springs is an excellent site for birdwatching, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Look for Osprey and Bald Eagles fishing in the river.

Acres: 629.9
Access Road: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Picnic Tables: Yes
Shelterhouses: 1
Indian Springs: 300 max. people, 25 tables, 150 seats, Electricity, No vehicle access, 30 more tables in the area for a total of 300 people.
Playground Equipment: Yes
Ball Fields: Yes
Horseback Trails: No
Hiking Trails(miles): 7.5
Paved Trail:2.3
Campground Sites: No
Boat Launch: No
Canoe Launch: No
18 Hole Golf Course: No
Illinois Nature Preserve: No
Special Facilities: Paved Recreation Trail
Donated Land: No
Natural Areas: Yes
All reservations subject to the GENERAL USE ORDINANCE.

Trail Map

Download a printable trail map here.


5360 Mulford Road & 5801 Perryville Rd, Cherry Valley, IL 61016

Shelterhouses 360° Views


Shelterhouse *Fees
Max People Tables Seating Electric Playground
Indian Springs $85 $115 300 25 150 Yes Yes

*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