Young female runner warming up before running at morning forest trail

4 Beautiful Nature Preserves Near Carbondale

Did you know that there are four nature preserves near The Pointe at SIU that open to the public for hiking and exploration? Green Earth is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve these natural areas for the public to enjoy. These nature preserves near Carbondale all have fairly easy hiking trails and an abundance of natural wonders. Whether you like hiking or want a relaxing place to visit this summer, check out these four preserves:


Brush Hill Nature Preserve

Brush Hill Nature Preserve is the oldest of the preserves and is located in eastern Carbondale. It has a seasonal pond teeming with wildlife. It boasts large sugar maple, oak, hickory and walnut trees whose leaves provide a gorgeous canopy to stroll beneath. Make sure you stop by the persimmon tree, which produces small edible orange fruits that were popular with the pioneers.


Oakland Nature Preserve

Oakland Nature Preserve has two beautiful trails to hike. One passes through prairie habitats and the other through a serenely wooded area. Look for the switchgrass and the big bluestem prairie grasses. They are showstoppers when they reach their full height of six to eight feet!


Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve

Chautauqua Bottoms Nature Preserve has the largest trail system of the four nature preserves. Three of the trails connect to SIUC. Spicebush shrubs grow throughout the woods, and their small yellow flowers signal the arrival of the stunning spicebush swallowtail butterfly in the spring. You can also spot zebra, tiger, and buckeye swallowtails.


Fernlands Nature Preserve

Fernlands Nature Preserve is in southern Carbondale. True to its name, it hosts many woodland ferns. You will find both the ebony spleenwort and Christmas ferns bordering its crystal clear streams. This is the perfect place to relax and absorb the calming effect of bubbling streams and cool, misty forest.


Off-trail trekking and exploration are encouraged! So relax and roam through streams, stroll up hills, and find the inspiration and relaxation that only nature can provide. If you want to explore even more nature preserves near Carbondale, add these three nature parks to your list! Contact us if you would like to join our community at The Pointe at SIU.

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