Otter Creek Forest Preserve

37W870 Hopps Rd.
Elgin, IL


With its wet soils along Otter Creek, this preserve features tallgrass prairie and wetland vegetation. Rattlesnake master, compass plant, and gray-headed coneflower are just a few of the flowering plants that make up the prairie. Oak woodland grows on the better-drained soils to the west.

The preserve is transected by the Canadian National Railroad. There are two underpasses that allow hikers to walk between the two portions of the preserve.

There are walking trails through the prairie, woodland and wetland on the south side of the tracks. The preserve has been improved with a picnic area and paved parking lot off of Hopps Road. Ongoing wetland and prairie restoration will continue.

Preserve Map


The initial land investments were made with Open Space Land Acquisition & Development (OSLAD) grant funding assistance. Between 1995 and 2001, 141 acres of the core of the preserve, straddling the railroad tracks, were acquired. The 91 acres of drainageway along Otter Creek were added in 2009.