Indian Creek Nature Preserve

Indian Creek Preserve is located within the Conservatory of Indian Creek subdivision at the end of Seneca Avenue West in Hawthorn Woods. The preserve is a Village-owned 9.5-acre parcel of land comprised of woodland and wetland ecosystems that have remained untouched for over a century.


2 Senaca Avenue West
Hawthorn Woods, IL 60047
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Memorial Day through Labor Day, Sunrise until 8:30 p.m.

All other times, Sunrise until Sunset


  • Natural areas
  • Nature walking trails
  • Picnic area

Groundbreaking and Restoration Efforts

On June 16, 2022, Mayor Dominick DiMaggio and the Village Board of Trustees conducted the much-anticipated groundbreaking ceremony of our Indian Creek Preserve. America in Bloom Executive Director Laura Kunkle and America in Bloom Treasurer Dr. Marvin Miller were in attendance, along with CN Public Affairs Manager Stacey Lyons. This parcel of land has never been accessible to the public, as it has been overgrown with invasive woody species, primarily buckthorn…but that is changing! 

The Village of Hawthorn Woods endeavors to revitalize this precious natural area for public use, tree canopy expansion, as well as wildlife and pollinator habitat restoration with the assistance of $25,000 in grant funding provided by the Canadian National (CN) Railway and America in Bloom (AIB) for Phase 1 of this restoration project. AIB is a nonprofit organization which promotes community enhancement programs that emphasize cultural heritage, community vitality, environmental leadership, beautification efforts, citizen engagement, and urban forestry.

Phase 1 of this Indian Creek Preserve Restoration Project is now complete. The removal of 3.5 acres of invasive buckthorn has taken place. A tranquil 0.2 mile walking trail has been installed, which includes two recycled park benches and a beautiful canopy of existing oak and maple trees located along the trail.  A picnic area has also been established including an ADA accessible picnic table. 

Phase 2 of this restoration project will involve the additional continuation of a ½-mile meandering walking trail composed of recycled wood chips and a ½-acre pollinator meadow. Thirty-five oak and evergreen trees will be planted to further expand our urban tree canopy. Invasive buckthorn remediation will continue, along with the removal of six dead trees, each over twenty feet tall. Educational signage will be installed throughout the park, as well as additional recycled park benches. 

Six volunteer restoration days have already taken place thus far to clear the preserve of invasive buckthorn with the dedicated assistance of the Friends of Indian Creek Wetlands and the Stevenson High School Green Team. 

Indian Creek Preserve is now open to the residents of Hawthorn Woods and the surrounding Lake County area for year-round nature emersion, between sunrise and sunset, accessible to all mobilities.