Sand Ridge State Forest


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Sand Ridge State Forest


Location:Southwest of Peoria and 1.5 miles northwest of Forest City in Mason County.
Facilities:27 Class C campsites, 12 backcountry primitive sites, organized group campground, equestrian camping area with hitching rails, water, pit toilets, and a shelter area, picnic area with shelter, hiking trails (44 miles), equestrian trails (55 miles), snowmobile trails (26 miles), historic site, archery range, hand trap shooting range.
Activities:Camping, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, shooting, hunting, birdwatching.
Special Features:Largest of the state forests in Illinois, Sand Ridge is the result of a prehistoric dry period when more desert-like conditions existed. It is one of the few places in the state with a variety of plants and animals more commonly associated with the southwest than the midwest, including the badger, pocket gopher, silvery bladderpod, and prickly pear cactus. Sand Ridge Forest is also an important nesting area for such neo-tropical migratory birds as the ovenbird, indigo bunting, veery, and scarlet tanager.
Address:PO Box 111
Forest City, IL 61532

Phone:309-597-2212
Web: dnr.state.il.us/Lands/Landmgt/PARKS/R4/SAND.HTM
Size: 7,200 acres.

See other parks in Illinois.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dedicated in 1970, the preserve is within the boundaries of Sand Ridge State Forest which covers 1012 ha (Marcum et al.
Vascular flora of the Sand Ridge State Forest, Mason County, Illinois.
Sand Ridge State Forest is located in north-western Mason County about 21 km northwest of Havana and just west of Forest City, Illinois (parts of townships T22N R7W and T23N R7W).
The original reason for purchasing the land for what is now the Sand Ridge State Forest was to stabilize soil on abandoned farmland, develop a wood product industry, and set land aside for recreation (Andrews 2004).
Sand Ridge State Forest has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters.
In approximately 60 years the sand savanna at Sand Ridge State Forest became a closed forest.
The woody plant communities at Sand Ridge State Forest are very different today compared to the early 1800s, mostly due to the planting of pines and reduced fire frequencies followed by the total absence of fire in recent decades (Taft 1997).
The most extensive sand deposits owned and managed by the State of Illinois are at Sand Ridge State Forest in northwestern Mason County.
Initial land purchases for Sand Ridge State Forest began in 1939 for the purpose of stabilizing soil of abandoned farmlands, developing a wood product industry, and setting land aside for public recreation.
Sand Ridge State Forest is located in northwestern Mason County about 21 km northeast of Havana, and just west of Forest City, Illinois (parts of townships T22N R7W and T23N R7W).
Bishop's Woods Natural Area, a dry sand forest located in the southern part of Sand Ridge State Forest, was surveyed in 1990.
Degraded dry sand savannas, that are presently dry sand forests, are a dominant community of ridges and slopes on large stabilized dunes at Sand Ridge State Forest, Mason County, Illinois.