Over 3 miles of trails — including 2.4 miles of the 30-mile Salt Creek Greenway Trail — wind through the preserve and around the lakes and are ideal for hiking, biking, jogging and cross-country skiing.
Cricket Creek has several picnic tables and grassy areas where you can spread a blanket. Ground fires are not allowed, but you can bring grills. (The preserve has hot-coal containers for charcoal.)
Groups can also reserve a 50-person picnic shelter. Details are on our Picnicking page.
You can fish for largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish and bluegill at the 9-acre Green Lake, 3-acre Stonewort Pond or 5-acre Riverbend Pond. If people with model boats are using Riverbend Pond, though, please fish at one of the other two lakes.
Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois fishing licenses. Lake maps and regulations, including creel limits and minimum lengths, are on our Fishing page.
You can access Salt Creek via the canoe launch at Cricket Creek. Watercraft must have Illinois water usage stamps or state registrations but do not need Forest Preserve District permits. For state boating requirements, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
If you enjoy model boating, you can use your craft on Riverbend Pond but must have a valid Forest Preserve District permit in your possession.
The land was prairie until the late 1930s, when it started to transform into agricultural fields dotted with homes. The Forest Preserve District acquired the first 40 acres in 1974 and made subsequent purchases through 2016, eventually transforming a flood-prone housing development into a beautiful forest preserve.