Know Your Forest Preserves: Severson Dells


Photo by Jamie Johannsen

Photo by Jamie Johannsen

Source: Rockford Register Star

Posted Jun 20, 2019 at 3:08 PM

Severson Dells Forest Preserve

8786 Montague Road, Rockford, IL 61102

Severson Dells is 369-acres of woodland, stream and dolomite cliffs. Three miles of hiking trails and two-thirds of a mile of paved trail entice visitors of all ages and abilities to experience the beauty and serenity of restored prairie and woodland and the diverse birds and wildlife they support. You won’t want to miss the clear-running Hall Creek meandering through the shadows of the dramatic limestone cliffs, which give the preserve its name.

This preserve is home to the Severson Dells Nature Center (SDNC), which provides many educational programs and events for students and families. Interactive programs are offered weekly to people of all ages and interests. SDNC contains nature exhibits, a library and bookstore for the general public. Hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1-4:30 p.m. on Sunday. The professional environmental education staff at SDNC also provides school field trips at the nature center and in-school programs on a wide variety of natural science topics. Learn about Severson Dells Nature Center activities and events at seversondells.org or by calling 815-335-2915.

Don’t miss The Grove, a nature playscape that provides children with many opportunities to explore, climb, build and create. Local artists and sculptors constructed this innovative space to foster creative expression and outdoor exploration. Nestled among the trees, The Grove is built primarily of natural materials that provide children with free play opportunities to climb, build, hide, perform and make music. The Grove is the only recreational facility of its kind in the Rockford area.

Acres: 369

Restrooms: Yes

Picnic tables: 28

Shelterhouses: 1

Prairie Knoll: Wood shelter, 200 people maximum, 25 tables, 150 seats, no electricity, 1 large grill.

Shelterhouse may be reserved on-line at winnebagoforest.org

Playground equipment: outdoor nature playscape

Horseback trails: 0

Hiking trails (miles): 3.0

Illinois Nature Preserve: Yes

Special facilities: Nature Study Center, The Grove outdoor nature playscape, paved loop trail

(Dogs are not allowed at Severson Dells Forest Preserve)

Learn more at winnebagoforest.org

Preserve Puzzler: Which forest preserve contains Winnebago County’s only calcareous seep, a wet prairie natural community which many unusual plants?

Find the answer here in next week’s edition of Know Your Preserves.