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Shedd Aquarium

Schurmeier Teaching Forest

147 E. Reusch Rd., Elizabeth, IL 61028

Bird & Eagle Watching

Two miles of beginner and intermediate hiking trails, educational signage teaches about tree and forestry practices. This forest is the perfect place to spend the day.

Jerry and Jon Schurmeier donated the original 52 acres of Schurmeier Teaching Forest to JDCF in 1994, in memory of their parents. To our knowledge, this is the only teaching forest in Illinois. A self-guided tree identification booklet is available for free at the kiosk and corresponds to signage along the trail.

This rugged, hillside property is entirely wooded. Although the site was generally logged many years ago, the deeper ravines include some awe-inspiring old-growth timber. A picnic shelter, surrounded by native prairie plants, is available for family gatherings, and is the meeting point for our spring and fall forest walks.

JDCF preserves are open daily dawn to dusk and free of charge unless otherwise posted at

Dogs on leash are welcome.

What's happening nearby...

Elizabeth Freedom Festival

Terrapin Park  •  Jul 01 @ 4PM

Join the community for an action-packed day of family fun at Elizabeth Freedom Fest!

Read more about Elizabeth Freedom Festival

Massbach Stomp!

Massbach Ridge Winery  •  Sep 28 @ 11AM

Join Massbach Ridge Winery's Post Harvest Celebration at their annual Stomp!

Read more about Massbach Stomp!

Christmas at the Fort

Apple River Fort State Historic Site •  Dec 07 @ 11AM

Celebrate Christmas the 1832 way at Apple River Fort State Historic Site in beautiful Elizabeth, IL!

Read more about Christmas at the Fort

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