A Little Time and a Keyboard: Lake Renwick Preserve Delights With Trails, Lakes and a Heron Rookery in Plainfield, Illinois

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Lake Renwick Preserve Delights With Trails, Lakes and a Heron Rookery in Plainfield, Illinois

 

Lake Renwick Preserve Delights With Trails, Lakes and a Heron Rookery in Plainfield, Illinois

Hiking Will County: Exploring Lake Renwick Preserve

Lake Renwick Preserve represents quite an extensive and unique nature preserve located in Illinois' Will County. The site once served as a spot for gravel quarrying. Lake Renwick itself is a manmade lake resulting from mining in the area. Today, the preserve provides vital habitat to a range of migratory birds and is renowned for its heron rookery. Additionally, an array of nature activities invites visitors to this stunning preserve each year.

Lovely fall warmth highlighting one of the lakes at Lake Renwick Preserve.
Lovely fall warmth highlighting one of the lakes at Lake Renwick Preserve.

Preparing for our visit to Lake Renwick Preserve, we noted the remarkable size of the 839-acre nature preserve. Incredible! Lake Renwick Preserve also includes more lakes in addition to Lake Renwick. While I am sure quite a few visitors amble through the preserve to admire Lake Renwick and its impressive rookery, the other lakes are not to be missed.

A swan nibbles at Turtle Lake in Plainfield, Illinois.
A swan nibbles at Turtle Lake in Plainfield, Illinois.

Our favorite lake of the day, in fact, happened to be Turtle Lake. The geese at Turtle Lake were pretty active. Additionally, we saw a swan, a heron, and a turtle all in the lake. Spectacular!

Exploring Lake Renwick


The rookery certainly impresses! Part of the year, access is restricted to the rookery area -- generally March through mid-August protecting the nesting birds. However, the public still can birdwatch from Copley Nature Park during this period. The rookery is one of the largest in Illinois. During our visit, we enjoyed watching geese take off from the water around the rookery. They would fly over in formation. Pretty cool!

Geese swimming on Lake Renwick.
Geese swimming on Lake Renwick.

Lake Renwick formed after gravel quarrying tapped into an underground spring. The pit filled in with water creating Lake Renwick. Lake Renwick is unique for the region because its bed comprises of gravel. Wading birds and a host of other animals call the preserve home. 

Other Explorations at Lake Renwick

Hiking a wooded section of Lake Renwick Preserve.
Hiking a wooded section of Lake Renwick Preserve.

The preserve holds wooded sections as well. We are currently in fall migration and we saw some cute warblers in the wooded areas of the preserve. The Lake Renwick Bike Way loops around Budde Lake and through wetlands providing another way to explore the preserve.

Peeking at Turtle Lake.
Peeking at Turtle Lake.

Quarrying ended in the area in 1983. At that point, the remaining pits were filled in with water creating additional lakes. Pretty outstanding that an accidental lake and former quarrying area has become such a fantastic nature preserve. We look forward to future returns to Lake Renwick Preserve take in the beautiful environs and look for birds!

Lake Renwick Preserve Delights With Trails, Lakes and a Heron Rookery in Plainfield, Illinois


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