Ethel’s Woods Forest Preserve

  • Accessibility & Access for All
  • Arts & Culture
  • Arts and Culture
  • Beach Access
  • Bike Share Dock
  • Biking
  • Biodiversity
  • Birdwatching
  • Boat Rentals Available
  • Boating
  • Bus Parking
  • Calumet Heritage Area
  • Camping
  • Canoe or Kayak Rentals Available
  • Canoeing
  • Children's programs
  • Climbing
  • Community Science
  • Concessions
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Education
  • Education Center
  • Equipment Rentals
  • Family-Friendly
  • Field Trips
  • Fishing
  • Free Admission
  • Free Parking
  • Free Programs
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Hiking
  • Historical Connectiom
  • Historical Connection
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Kayaking
  • Native Plants
  • Nature Center
  • Parking
  • Paved Trails
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Prairie
  • Public Transit Access
  • Restrooms
  • Running
  • Scenic View
  • Scenic Views
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming
  • Teacher Resources
  • Tours
  • Trail Running
  • Walking
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Show More


Along the eastern edge of this preserve are 170 acres of century-old bur oak, white oak, shagbark hickory and black walnut trees.

Scattered throughout the site’s oak-hickory woodlands are small, isolated forest ponds that hold water in the spring and early fall. These ponds, along with two Advanced Identification (ADID) wetlands bordering the high-quality Old Mill Creek stream corridor, and several creeks that flow into the site’s prominent 60-acre Rasmussen Lake, provide valuable wildlife habitat and food sources for a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.

Rasmussen Lake in the southern portion of the preserve was formed from the construction of a dam across Old Mill Creek in 1957. The outflow creates strong rapids along the stream corridor downstream of the dam. The stream winds through box elder, cottonwood, weeping willow, green ash, and other flora.

The combination of the site’s massive woodland and its serpentine-shaped lake offers a picturesque landscape reminiscent of a north woods setting.

Trails and parking are not currently available here.

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