• Crabtree Nature Preserve (map)

Crabtree Nature Center and Forest Preserve is a large preserve of over 1,000 acres with a rich mosaic of habitats including grassland, woods, ponds and marshes. Breeding birds, butterflies, dragonflies and mammals are plentiful at this time which is the height of breeding season for many species.

From Crabtree, we will move to nearby Baker’s Lake which features a very active mixed-species breeding colony of cormorants, herons and their kin. Great Horned Owls have nested on the island amid the divers and waders. Beavers are often seen along the shoreline. Virginia Rail and Sora may be seen and/or heard in a small cattail marsh south of the lake.

This trip involves a lot of walking so hiking boots are recommended. Be sure to carry water with you on the trail and dress for the weather. Bring a spotting scope if you have one in order to check for waterfowl on the various bodies of water we will encounter.


Crabtree Nature Center is located in far northwestern Cook County in Barrington Hills. From I-90, exit on Barrington Road and head north. Turn left on Palatine Road and head west for about 1.5 miles. Meet at Old Stover Trailhead parking lot, Palatine Rd. and Stover Rd., Barrington