Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve

Welcome to Western Illinois Nature Group and

Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve 

Located at 1590 Angling Road, Hwy 4, Alexis, IL  61412

Open Dawn to Dusk Daily and by Reservation

mailing address WING, c/o L Wright, 1678 Oriole Drive, Galesburg, IL  61401

Contact us by email: blackthornhill@gmail.com  


Western Illinois Nature Group was created to find and purchase a forested property in west central Illinois to accomplish our goals. We seek the financial support and encouragement of area communities and organizations, as well as the dedication of our membership, to preserve a beautifully wooded area for enjoyment well beyond this century. The generosity of corporate and private foundations and local businesses is essential. 

DATES TO REMEMBER:

The property will be closed to the public for Spring Turkey hunting. Turkey season starts last weekend of March, the 30th and 31st, and the first weekend of April, the 6th and 7th, 3rd season is April 26-May 1, May 2-May 8th. Spring Turkey and Fall Deer hunting thru IRAP  is a partnership with the state to provide archery hunting opportunities for those without a place to hunt. Blackthorn Hill will be closed during those times. 


April 20, 9am Guided Wildflower Identification Hike, led by Tony Kloppenborg.  Meet in the parking lot at 8:45 to start hiking at 9:00.  Wear sturdy shoes.

April 25, 6pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Freeman Room: 2nd quarterly board meeting with a presentation by a Boy Scout concerning a proposed Eagle Scout Project at Blackthorn Hill.


Watch our website and Facebook Page (not the Facebook Group) for information on upcoming events like possible a Spring Bird Count hike in early May and an upcoming fundraiser to order beautiful t-shirts designed by our Board Member Ellie Repp.  

Save the Date: Saturday June 1, 2024 will be National Trails Day.  Join us for a hike at noon to look for all the painted woodland animals and birds we have on the trails there followed by a concert by Dance Hall Doves from 1-2.  Bring a picnic and enjoy the afternoon in nature!



Our Membership year is April 1-March 30

Renewing your membership to WING's Blackthorn Hill has never been easier and your donation can go further!  Membership is a minimum of $30 per family.  Use the Donate button above to become a member or renew membership. You can also renew by mailing a check to WING, c/o L Wright, 1678 Oriole Drive, Galesburg, IL  61401.

Birdies for Charity-Pledge now to support Western Illinois Nature Group-Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve.  Use Bird# 751. Donate - Birdies for Charity 

Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP)

The property will be closed to the public for Spring Turkey hunting. Turkey season starts last weekend of March, the 30th and 31st, and the first weekend of April, the 6th and 7th, 3rd season is April 26-May 1, May 2-May 8th. Spring Turkey and Fall Deer hunting thru IRAP  is a partnership with the state to provide archery hunting opportunities for those without a place to hunt. Blackthorn Hill will be closed during those times. 

During the month of October and December 16-31 annually, trails will be closed.  If someone is parked in the IRAP parking space in the parking lot, an archery deer hunter is on the property hunting.  This pays our bills.  Please be safe and respectful.  Wear bright colored clothing, limit your visit to the parking lot area, and stay quiet please.  Only IRAP authorized hunters are allowed to hunt on this property and only according to IRAP rules and regulations.  Violators will be turned in to the authorities. 

Click on IRAP on the left menu  here, or check out their website to learn more.

www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/irap 

“As a disabled veteran it can at times be difficult finding time to access hunting opportunities on privately controlled lands. Thanks to the IRAP, I was able to harvest a whitetail doe while spending some much needed time outdoors.” ~2023 Archery Deer Hunter

Legacy information

Consider leaving a bequest to Western Illinois Nature Group (WING) which owns and operates Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve to keep this local jewel thriving for future generations.  Find out more here: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10KUGYngBquWKJV-H75EnpJxf2Q-xW1iA/view?usp=sharing

and here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10KUGYngBquWKJV-H75EnpJxf2Q-xW1iA/view?usp=sharing

 Email us at blackthornhill@gmail.com .

Water: Our water is shut off for the winter.  The state asks that we post this notice for 7 days.  Water will be turned on and treated after the threat of frost in the spring.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/181H_GG1V6-95wY-zE9u0FhQGa_cQ25ry/view?usp=share_link