Swift Prairie

The 115-acre Swift Prairie Forest Preserve in Addison is an undeveloped natural area that is home to the state-designated Swift Prairie Nature Preserve, which has wetlands, ponds and a very rich remnant prairie complex — both wet and mesic types. The preserve supports some rare marsh and prairie vegetation and is home to a variety of wildlife.


Natural Scene

Swift Prairie is a mosaic of marshes, wet prairie, meadow, re-created prairie, immature upland forest, ponds and a creek. It is home to several rare plants, such as cream wild indigo, prairie thistle and Illinois sensitive plant.

Dozens of rare birds forage at the preserve, including the state-endangered American bittern and black-crowned night heron and the state-threatened least bittern. Many breed here as well. Other wildlife species found here include the northern leopard frog, green frog, white-footed mouse, masked shrew, garter snake, midland brown snake and midland painted turtle. Additionally, ecologists have identified over 60 types of butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies at the preserve, including the great spangled fritillary, hummingbird clearwing moth, meadowhawk dragonfly and bluet damselfly.

The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission gave the forest preserve an extra level of protection by designating it as the Swift Prairie Nature Preserve.


Driving Directions

Swift Prairie is off Walter Drive, north of Army Trail Road between Glen Ellyn and Swift roads. It does not have a parking lot.


In presettlement times, this preserve was prairie. Marsh areas survived after settlement, but much of the surrounding prairie had been converted to farmland. A home site sat where a second-growth forest is now found along Army Trail Road. The creek was very likely channelized along the southern end of its path through the preserve.
The majority of the preserve was purchased in the early to mid-1990s.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!
Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit