Hampshire Forest Preserve has been a natural playground and picnic spot for area children and adults throughout the years. Trails for hiking and learning to recognize a wide variety of birds and wildflowers make this an ideal playground for youngsters.
An Oak-Hickory forest adorns the crest of this glacial moraine. This ridge top of oaks, once stood as an island in a sea of prairie and prairie wetlands. The original vegetation would have been the Oak-Hickory forest, open woods blending into a tall grass prairie on the gentle slopes and a prairie wetland below. As the land was drained and plowed, settlement occurred along the ridge. Today, the Village of Hampshire and numerous rural subdivisions occupy most of the high ground.
There are parking areas, shelters, and restrooms located in different areas of the preserve. The trail system at this forest preserve is suitable for multiple uses including horseback riding and snowmobiling.
Hampshire is located on Allen Road, west of Route 20 in Hampshire. This preserve is a large woodland and a favorite spot for picnicking. There are twelve miles of trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.
This preserve includes a horseback riding area. Most horse trails are natural surface, mowed grass paths. Limestone screenings trails and asphalt bike trails are available in some of the preserves. These are multi-use trails shared with runners, bicyclists, dog walkers etc. Horse riders are required to stay on designated, forest preserve-maintained trails. Trail riding is not allowed in restricted natural areas, Illinois Nature Preserves, picnic areas or in farmed areas. To prevent trail damage during wet weather, trails may be temporarily closed. Individual forest preserves will post a sign at the entrance when horse trails are closed. Trails are currently OPEN for equestrian use at this preserve.