Sandy Ford Land and Water Reserve

Place Category: Ecology, Geology, Nature & Outdoor Recreation, and Nature Sites

  • Profile

    Owned and managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the 200-acre Sandy Ford is located on the east bank of the Vermilion River at the western edge of the Farm Ridge Moraine, pushed up during the Woodfordian state of the Wisconsin glaciation during the late Pleistocene. The site possesses 2 creeks, a floodplain forest, dry bluffland forest, hill prairies, and sandstone cliffs. As with the Mitchell’s Grove Nature Preserve on this loop, the cooler north-facing slopes of Sandy Ford still contain post-Wisconsin aged plants such as northern white cedar, white pine, and Canada yew, all much more common far to the north in places such as northern Wisconsin and Canada. Even the rubble-strewn riffles of the adjacent Vermilion River serve as home to rare fishes such as the state-endangered Greater Redhorse and state-threatened River Redhorse.

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