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

Deer Run

675.6-acre Deer Run offers over 7 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, which connect with Oak Ridge Forest Preserve to the south. It offers a mosaic of high quality prairie, river and floodplain forest natural areas.

This preserve is aptly named; deer are often seen here, and its diversity of habitat makes it a prime wildlife viewing spot. Deer Run contains a segment of the Kishwaukee River, hundreds of acres of restored prairie, floodplain wetlands and ponds, as well as woods. The “Blue Hole” on the northern edge is a floodplain oxbow pond frequented by frogs, turtles, dragonflies, beavers and herons.

The preserve is bordered by the Kishwaukee River on the west and the south branch of the Kishwaukee meanders through the southeast portion. One of the highest quality streams in the state of Illinois, the Kishwaukee provides habitat and food for many aquatic and terrestrial species. The “Kish” also provides great recreational opportunities for fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

Seasonal Highlights: In spring, Deer Run is a prime spot to see floodplain woodland wildflowers including a spectacular sea of Virginia Bluebells. Mid-summer brings a tapestry of diverse blooms and grasses to the vast expanses of waving prairie. Wildlife viewing opportunities also peak in summer as insects, birds, butterflies, turtles, deer and beavers populate the preserve. Don’t miss the prairie’s burnished fall colors, herbal aromas and rich textures. Deer Run’s extensive system of wide flat trails offers and easy and refreshing hike or equestrian ride at any time of year.

Acres: 675.6
Access Road: Yes
Restrooms: Yes
Drinking Water: No
Picnic Tables: Yes
Shelterhouses: No
Playground Equipment: No
Ball Fields: No
Horseback Trails: Yes
Equestrian Trailer Parking: Yes
Equestrian self-registration: Yes
Hiking Trails(miles): 7.5
Campground Sites: No
Boat Launch: No
Canoe Launch: Yes
18 Hole Golf Course: No
Illinois Nature Preserve: No
Special Facilities: Conservation Area
Donated Land: No
Natural Areas: Yes
All reservations subject to the GENERAL USE ORDINANCE

Trail Map

Download a printable trail map here of Deer Run.

Download a printable trail map here of Deer Run/Oak Ridge.


5691 River Road, Cherry Valley, IL 61016
3 miles southeast of Rockford city limits on River Road.

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