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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

Middle Fork Woods

Nature Preserve Area: 
6
County: 
Vermilion
Location and Access: 
From 2.5 miles west of Danville at jct. I-74 & Hwy. 150, take Hwy. 150 southwest 0.4 mile to blacktop road, then turn and go northwest 0.7 mile to Kickapoo State Park.

Special Note: The preserve is located within Kickapoo State Park. Many facilities are available to visitors.

Description: 
Middle Fork Woods is a remnant of a once vast mesic upland forest of the Vermilion Section of the Wabash Border Natural Division. Prior to glaciation Vermilion County was characterized by wide valleys and rolling hills. A preglacial river that originated in Virginia entered Illinois near Hoopeston. The ancient waterway was known as the Teays. When the glaciers advanced into the state, the Teays, along with many other significant landforms, disappeared. The glaciers deposited huge quantities of material, known as glacial drift, throughout the county in thicknesses ranging from 50 to 200 feet. This material included unsorted ice-laid debris (till), meltwater sorted sand and gravel (outwash), fine grained wind-blown silt (loess) and coarse-grained sediments (alluvium) along streams. These deposits were extremely important, because they became the parent material of the 4 soil types presently found in the preserve. The plant and animal populations found in this section are distinct from those found elsewhere in Illinois. Several forest communities have been recognized: upland forest with black and white oak, slopes with sugar maple and basswood and ephemeral ponds with swamp white oak. The understory includes ironwood, redbud, sassafras and blue beech. A total of 45 mammal species, 40 bird species and 13 herptile species have been observed in the Kickapoo-Middle Fork complex.

Ownership: 
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Dedicated: 
August, 1999
Size: 
69.2 acres with an additional 9.8 acres of buffer
Topographic Quad: 
Collison
Topo Map: 
Directions: 
For further information: 
Site Superintendent, Kickapoo State Park, Oakwood, IL 61858 (217/442-4915)