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 on flora and fauna. For nearly 35 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 Illinois vegetation. The Olin Nature Preserve overlooks the Mississippi River and contains steep limestone bluffs and other features of karst topography including sinkholes, ravines, and bedrock outcrops. Visitors will also find 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, and nesting and den sites for the Bald Eagle and Eastern Timber Rattlesnake. Olin’s presence is still felt on the property at his former skeet range. Here, the original trap houses and shooting stations have been restored and are maintained by The Nature Institute. Sitting 150 feet above the river valley, the site offers visitors a spectacular view of the Mississippi River Valley.