Once owned by John M. Olin, this 294 acre preserve has been dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve and will forever be protected. It is a rare and unique property that has been the site of numerous studies of flora and fauna. For nearly 40 years, volunteers and staff have actively maintained its natural beauty by removing invasive plants, and replanting native species of tallgrass prairie, oak and hickory trees, and other native Illinois vegetation. The Olin Nature Preserve overlooks the Mississippi River atop steep limestone bluffs. Unique geological features of karst topography including sinkholes, ravines, and bedrock outcrops can be found on the preserve. Visitors will also discover small streams, a waterfall, upland forest, and hill prairies.
Researchers have identified more than 300 native plant species, more than 150 species of nesting and migratory birds, including the Bald Eagle call the preserve home and is habitat to the Eastern Timber Rattlesnake. Olin’s presence is still felt on the property at his former skeet range where the original trap houses and shooting stations still exist. Sitting 150 feet above the river valley, the site offers visitors a spectacular view of the Mississippi River Valley.