Embarras Ridges Land and Water Reserve

County: Coles

Ownership: Grand Prairie Friends

Dedication: 2012

Size: 141 Acres

Steward: David Mott and Embarras Volunteer Stewards

Located south of Charleston and north of Fox Ridge State Park, Embarras Ridges Land and Water Reserve protects a large expanse of dry-mesic and mesic upland forest. High ridges with steep slopes into deep ravines characterize this area, in contrast to much of the east-central Illinois landscape.

The woods are known to be habitat for over 100 different types of plants, including the state-threatened fibrous rooted sedge (Carex communis) and the uncommon rattlesnake plantain orchid (Goodyera pubescens). 42 species of birds have been surveyed throughout the woods, including seven species of conservation concern, such as the Yellow Billed Cuckoo, Acadian Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Worm Eating Warbler, Ovenbird, Kentucky Warbler, and Field Sparrow.

GPF was able to purchase this property with grant funds from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Grand Victoria Foundation Vital Lands, and the Lumpkin Family Foundation. Generous funds also came from Jana Mason, Shirley Hunt, Beverly Foote, Jim and Mare Payne, Fred Delcomyn, the Illinois Audubon Society, Champaign County Audubon Society, and many other generous friends.

How to get there: From Charleston, drive south on IL Route 130 about 3.5 miles to Daileyville Road. Turn right (west) onto Daileyville Road. Drive west as Daileyville Road winds back and forth. You will come to a small parking lot and small red-painted building (not quite to the end of the road). Park here to access the preserve.

Please note: This is an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, and no living or dead plant or animal material, or inorganic material including soils, minerals, or water, may be removed. We encourage you to come out for hiking, bird watching, nature observation and study, and photography.

Complete list of sites we help protect.