Jurgensen Woods North Nature Preserve
Thornton, IL 60476
Nature Preserve: Birding, Hike, Picnic, Walk, Water Sports
Jurgensen Woods is a remnant of the extensive woodlands and prairie ecosystems that formerly occurred on the sandy plains of glacial Lake Chicago. Surviving plant communities at Jurgensen Woods that are unique to this sandy, relatively flat lake plain are shrub prairies, and sand flatwoods. The mesic woodlands at this preserve are dominated by a red oak, white oak and basswood association while pin oaks occur in the sandy flatwoods and on wet sites. In the shrub prairies, such unique species as the purple chokeberry, hardhack, huckleberry and low bush blueberry may be found. Other prairie-associated species include Kalm’s St. John’s wort, sweetfern, grass pink orchid and narrow-leaved sundew. Jurgensen Woods Nature Preserve and the adjacent Thorton-Lansing Road Nature Preserve represent some of the last remnants of the natural vegetation of the southern part of the Chicago Lake Plain. Trails and parking are available at this preserve.