Franklin Creek State Natural Area, located in northern Lee Country in northwest
Illinois 8 miles east of Dixon near Franklin Grove is one of Illinois' newest
The creation of this 882-acre natural area was made possible with the private
donation of land for nature preserve purposes. A beautiful segment of Franklin
Creek has been protected.
The area contains wetlands, and significant rock outcroppings. The New
Richmond Sandstone, rarely visible in Illinois, makes several appearances
along Franklin Creek. Distinguished here as a whitish layer just above the
water line, New Richmond Sandstone belongs to the Lower Ordovician Age,
500 million years old.
Many areas at the site combine scenic beauty as here in the background harmonized
with the created beauty of native prairie restoration as in the foreground.
The Franklin Creek Preservation Area Committee organized in 1981 to take
a leadership role in developing the natural area in an effort to maximum
its natural resource value.
Volunteerism continues today to be a major element in the site's management.
The Franklin Center Future Farmers of America spend many hours each year
improving miles of trails along with other projects.
The Franklin Grove Boy Scout Troops are involved in improving spawning habitat
for smallmouth bass at Franklin Creek State Natural Area. Under the direction
of IDNR state fish biologists, artificial rock spawning beds are placed
by the Scouts in selected locations.
The Franklin Creek Grist Mill is representative of the site's heritage preservation
Reconstructed by volunteers, The Franklin Creek Grist Mill is open to the
public seasonally. The multi-use facility contains the state's only
truly water-powered grist mill and also houses an interpretive center.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday, Noon - 4pm; April - October,
or by appointment by calling 815/456-2718 or 815/456-2878
Franklin State Natural Area