Forest Preserves

Two large forest preserves lie within the corporate boundaries of the Village of Homer Glen. Scroll down for basic information about each location or visit the Forest Preserve District of Will County website for more details. The Forest Preserve District can be reached at 815-727-8700 if you have any questions or comments.


Messenger Marsh


This 620-acre preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 1,900 acres. The preserve is located on South Bell Road, south of 159th Street (Route 7) in Homer Glen. 

Messenger Marsh protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, savanna and a portion of Spring Creek. Wildlife at the preserve includes the wood frog, brown snake and 110 bird species. The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including the hairy beardtongue, hispid sunflower, great white lettuce and sunshine rose. 

The preserve provides access to a 3.44-mile, crushed limestone segments of the Spring Creek Greenway Trail, ideal for the following activities:
  • Biking
  • Horseback riding (trailer parking available)
  • Hiking/Running
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
The preserve also features a 7-acre, off-leash dog park, including a 1.1 acre enclosure exclusively for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for dog park use. Learn more about the District's dog parks, permits and fees. 

The preserve offers one picnic shelter for rental. Capacity is 100 people. Learn more about picnic permits and fees.

Messenger Marsh offers access to shorelines fishing on a detention pond within the preserve. State and District regulations apply. Learn more about fishing in the forest preserves. 

Messenger Woods Nature Preserve


This 441-acre preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 1,900 acres. The preserve is located on Bruce Road, east of Cedar Road in Homer Glen. 

The preserve features 1.98 miles of natural surface trail, ideal for hiking/running. The 1.3 miles of natural surface trail outside of the designated nature preserve are also ideal for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The preserve offers four primitive campsites for family or group rental, with a permit capacity of six people per site. Learn more about camping permits and fees.

The preserve offers two picnic shelters for rental: Hawthorne Grove Shelter and Oak Knoll Shelter. Learn more about picnic permits and fees. 
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