Hiking, photography and nature study attract visitors to nearby Miller-Anderson Woods Nature Preserve.
Two of the state areas in Putnam County are managed by the Putnam County Conservation District. Hiking and equestrian trails are available at Fox Run, while George S. Memorial Park is restricted to nature study.
Donnelley State Wildlife Area:
In 1982, Windblown Bottoms Duck Club, containing Coleman Lake, came under state management through the gifts and efforts of Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley. Located in Putnam County, 2 miles north of Hennepin on Putnam County Highway 1, Donnelley Wildlife Area is open to the public during waterfowl season and open to school and study groups by appointment. Most of the year it is managed primarily for wildlife needs, and is to public use.
Located adjacent to the village of Bureau Junction in Bureau County, Hormel Landing offers a pleasant location for family outings.
Originally, the Hormel Company built three impoundments as processing ponds for a meat-packing plant. When Hormel selected a different plant site, the land and ponds were transferred to the state.
The ponds are nestled in a secluded basin surrounded by wooden bluffs, marshland, the Hennepin Canal and a bottomland woods that beavers have flooded. The setting is relaxing and invites one to explore its diversity. A state fish-stocking program supplements the ponds' natural restocking that results whenever the Illinois River exceeds its banks.
The entrance and upper level playground area are jointly cared for and developed by the Bureau United Men's Society and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Along Route 29, at the Bureau-Putnam County border, wooded bluffs rise above the broad Illinois River valley to create Miller-Anderson Woods Nature Preserve. The preserve protects old-growth upland forest, ravines, valley forest and a floating bog.
A narrow, ribbon-marked, moderately difficult trail guides one through the woodland variety which displays endangered plants and Ohio buckeye in its most northern range. Once on top and near the bluff's edge, one is treated to a panoramic view of some of the Illinois River valley's richest wetlands. Very often seen riding the air currents are turkey vultures and, occasionally, bald eagles.
Much of the preserve was donated to the state and dedicated to Dorothy Anderson in 1969. Groups of 25 or more need advance, written permission to enter this protected area.