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

Colored Sands

306-acre Colored Sands Forest Preserve on the Sugar River is known for its birds – and the bird banding at Sand Bluff Bird Observatory, its unique geology, and wonderful wildflowers. It offers outstanding panoramic views of the pristine Sugar River.

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.

This preserve has nesting Henslow’s, Lark and Grasshopper Sparrows. On spring evenings in suitable weather, Whip-poor-wills can be heard singing and American Woodcocks heard displaying from the parking lot. Barred Owls are year-round residents. In fall, the preserve is a good place to look for migrating hawks.

The Sand Buff Bird Observatory operates a bird banding station on weekends through the spring and fall. Visitors can observe the birds being banded. Each year on Mother’s Day weekend the Sand Bluff Bird Observatory hosts Bird Fest, an educational open house. Visit their website at for more information.

Seasonal Highlights: In May the sand prairie displays acres of blue lupine and shooting stars, and hoary and fringed pucoon in the summer. Look for birdsfoot violets in the spring woods.

Acres: 306.3
Access Road: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Picnic Tables: Yes
Shelterhouses: No
Playground Equipment: No
Ball Fields: No
Horseback Trails: No
Hiking Trails(miles): 2.8
Campground Sites: No
Boat Launch: No
Canoe Launch: Yes
18 Hole Golf Course: No
Illinois Nature Preserve: Yes
Special Facilities: Bird Banding Station, Scenic Overlook
Donated Land: No
Natural Areas: Yes
All reservations subject to the GENERAL USE ORDINANCE

Trail Map

Download a printable trail map here.


10602 Haas Road, Durand, IL 61024
Colored Sands is on Haas Road, west of Boswell Road, north of Yale Bridge Road, east of the Sugar River.

Thus a lecturer may find that a class is composed of a variety of students who are predisposed to view their study of a particular subject in quite distinctive ways.