Edwardsville – Madison County | 92 Acres
Type: Natural Area
Owned by: State of Illinois – Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Nature Preserves Commission; Stewardship Assistance by Friends of Bohm Woods and HeartLands Conservancy
Hours: Open Sunrise to Sunset unless otherwise posted.
Location and Directions: From I-255, take New Poag Road toward Edwardsville. The parking area for Bohm Woods is located on the north side of New Poag Road off of Bohm School Road.
Facilities: No restrooms or other facilities on the property. An unpaved walking trail is accessible from the parking area.
Regulations: Open sunrise to sunset 7 days a week, unless posted otherwise. Dogs allowed on leashes. Archery deer hunting is allowed via State permit. Hikers should note that hunting season occurs from October through mid-January each year. Further rules and regulations can be found here.
Bohm Woods State Nature Preserve is a special place. This spectacular forest has somehow remained undisturbed, despite the massive disturbance that has forever altered the Illinois landscape since European arrival. Old growth forest is exceedingly rare, and to have one of such quality in an urbanized area like Edwardsville, is unheard of. In fact, Bohm Woods represents one of only three old growth forests remaining in the entire Metro East (and the only in Madison County), which is why the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has worked for decades to protect it. They were finally successful in 2006 when the land was purchased and designated as an Illinois State Nature Preserve for the benefit of all.
“Bohm Woods offers visitors a glimpse into Illinois’ past. There is simply nowhere else in the region where one can see a forest of giant hardwoods—massive trees that are hundreds of years old, over 100 ft tall, and several feet in diameter. These trees form an extensive canopy that captures most of the sunlight, producing an open understory that supports unique communities of plants and animals, including rare spring wildflowers and neotropical migrant songbirds. As these enormous trees die, they may remain standing for decades, providing food and shelter for countless species. When they topple, they uproot the soil, creating a unique pit-and-mount topography that provides ephemeral pools for wildlife. Bohm Woods is a vital resource for the entire region. Its importance has long been recognized by adjacent landowners, including John and Kay Kendall, founders of the Watershed Nature Center, who dedicated their adjoining land, “Toadwood Scrubs” as a buffer for Bohm Woods. The university community is equally invested in Bohm Woods and recognizes its value in providing high quality educational and research experiences for students. In 2010, SIUE faculty worked collaboratively to establish the ~380-acre SIUE Nature Preserve with the purpose of connecting our largest remaining forest patch with Bohm Woods, via a habitat corridor.”
– Dr. Richard Essner, SIUE