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Fults Hill Prairie and Kidd Lake Marsh State Natural Areas

Fults Hill Prairie and Kidd Lake Marsh State Natural Areas
4301 South Lake Drive
618-826-2706

The 997-acre Fults Hill Prairie State Natural Area is owned and managed by the Illinoois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Most of this unique natural area was purchased between 1970 and 1976. From the uplands of Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve to the lowlands of Kidd Lake Marsh, a variety of plants and animals can be found, some common and some found nowhere else in the state.

Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve consists of 532 acres of uplands and includes woodland, prairie and glade communities. It has the largest complex of high quality loess hill prairies in Illinois. Prairies were once the dominant natural community in Illinois. The Illinois Nature Preserve system was established to give the highest level of protection to the state's few remaining high quality natural areas; this site was dedicated as a preserve in 1970. In 1986 it was recognized federally by the U.S. Department of Interior as a National Natural Landmark.

Kidd Lake State Natural Area is an example of the once expansive wetlands of the Mississippi floodplain known as the American Bottoms. The marsh was historically part of an 800-acre lake bed, and was once home to a variety of wetland birds, some now rare in Illinois. It is an important rest stop for migrating waterfowl and continues to provide critical habitat to a diverse range of birds, as well as amphibians and reptiles.

Visitors are welcome, but please help protect the area by not disturbing or removing anything. All natural features are protected by law.

Forests

The forests of this preserve are mostly on dry sites, with black oak, post oak and black hickory. Forests of the ravines have more moisture and contain white oak, red oak, chinquapin oak, sugar maple and hickories. In dry upland areas, such as those surrounding the "Lost Glades" and loess hill prairies, there used to be savanna communities. A savanna is an open woodland with a thin, scattered distribution of trees, primarily oak species, and a mixture of grasses. You can spot these areas by looking for oaks with large spreading limbs that indicate they were not competing with other trees as they grew.

While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.

At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.

Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.

Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.

We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.

For more information on tourism in Illinois, call the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism at 1-800-2Connect.

Telecommunication Device for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Natural Resources Information (217) 782-9175 for TDD only Relay Number 800-526-0844.


Fults Hill Prairie and Kidd Lake Marsh State Natural Areas is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media