Spring Bluff Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
In Winthrop Harbor, at the jct of Sheridan Ave. (Rt. 173) and Main St. (approx. 0.75 mile south of the Wisc. St. line), head east on Main St. (7th St.) To the preserve entrance on the north side of the road.
Special Note: The gate is locked to vehicle traffic. Park in the marina parking lot in the northwestern corner of the marina. Follow Main St. (7th St.) to the end and turn left and follow road to the end and turn left to the parking lot entrance. Enter the preserve on foot through an open gate on the north end of the parking lot. After passing through the gate, head west around a pond and then head south which is the preserve border. No formal trails exist, but an old subdivision road divides the preserve.
This area was subdivided and slated for development in the late 1800s. A few scattered homes were constructed and some industrial development occurred. Bu the subdivision remained largely undeveloped and the industrial growth was short lived. By 1921, the last industry left the area. Upon close inspection, scattered remnants of the cultural history of the preserve can still be found. The Lake County Forest Preserve District began purchasing last at Spring Bluff in 1963 and over time, removed all of the buildings that remained on the site. Restoration of the site began in 1982. Spring Bluff is in the Lake Michigan Dunes Section of the Northeastern Morainal Natural Division. It is a complex of beach-ridges and dunes formed in the Lake Michigan basin between 3000-4000 years ago when the lake was about 20 feet above the present stage. This ridge and swale topography has given rise to a diversity of plant communities including sand prairie, sand savanna, marsh and graminoid fen which provide habitat for many migratory and breeding wildlife. Records of notable breeding species include Henslow's sparrow, king and Virginia rails, upland sandpiper, least and American bitterns and common snipe. In addition, these communities support a rich diversity of plant species including royal fern, hoary and fringed puccoon, butterflyweed, white wild indigo, ragged fringed orchid, prairie lily and button blazingstar.
Ownership: Lake County Forest Preserve District
Dedicated: October 1992
Size: 285.27 acres
Topo Map: Zion 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Lake County Forest Preserve District, Natural Resource Manager, 2000 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville, IL 60048 (708/680-6301)
03/10 R. Heidorn