I receive many inquiries from people who would like to know the best squatchin’ areas in Illinois. To many out-of-staters Illinois is either urban Chicago or vast fields of corn and soybeans. What many don’t realize is what the “other Illinois” has to offer. Illinois is definitely a land of contrasts. Although Illinois is ranked # 38 among the states for amount of forests that does not mean those areas are lacking.

Illinois has 3.5 million acres of wooded lands including 78,000 miles of streams and rivers. In many ways Illinois is easier to squatch in than many of the larger states with their huge forests. In Illinois all one needs to do is head for one of the hundreds of recreational areas that are set aside by city, state or the federal government.

One greatly overlooked area for sasquatch activity are the forest preserves of Northeastern Illinois. Cook County and the surrounding counties have over 144,000 acres set aside for forest preserves. Included are an immense amount of bicycle and hiking trails.

Another great opportunity is rural cemeteries. Illinois have thousands of small cemeteries, many remotely located in woodsy areas.

The following links will take you to the major sites that describe recreational and camping opportunities in Illinois:

State of Illinois

Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 123 state protected areas: state parks, wildlife areas, recreation areas, nature reserves, and state forests.

Northeastern Illinois forest preserves. 

Forest Preserves of Cook County, over 69,000 acres.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, over 23, 000 acreas.

Lake County Forest Preserves, 30,100 acres.

Forest Preserve District of Will County, 21,807 acres

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, several areas totaling over 54,000 acres in Illinois.

Carlyle Lake

Lake Shelbyville

Rend Lake

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service10 national wildlife refuges in Illinois.

Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge

Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge

Illinois River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge

Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge

Meredosia National Wildlife Refuge

Savanna District, Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge

US National Forests

Shawnee National Forest, over 265,000 acres