Etnyre Forest Preserve and Ripplinger/Gouker Preserve

Leashed Dog Policy at Ripplinger/Gouker/Etnyre Preserve

The Byron Forest Preserve District allows leashed dogs on the trails at the Ripplinger/Gouker/Etnyre
Preserve. The following restrictions and guidelines must be followed:

  • All dogs must be accompanied by a person at all times.
  • All dogs must be on a leash no longer than 15’ at all times.
  • All dogs and handler must stay on the designated trails at all times.
  • It is the dog handler’s responsibility to pick up and properly dispose of any waste produced by their dog.
  • All dogs must be current on their vaccinations, licenses, and tags must be present on their collar.
  • Trail usage is only permitted during open park hours, dawn to dusk.
  • The dog handler will be responsible for any liability regarding their dog arising from the usage of the trails at the Ripplinger/Gouker/Etnyre Preserve.

The Etnyre Forest Preserve was one of the District’s earliest acquisitions and was donated to the District in 1990. The Etnyre portion of this joint preserve is 47.5 acres. This preserve is an oak hickory woodland that is adjacent to the Ripplinger/Gouker Prairie Preserve that lies adjacent to the east. These preserves are managed together and are accessible from a parking lot off of Town Line road a half mile west of Il Rt 2. The Ripplinger/Gouker Prairie Preserve was acquired in 2008 at 52 acres to put this joint preserve right at 100 acres. This preserve is primarily a prairie restoration along with two areas of oak savanna. These prairie plantings are full of colorful wildflower displays from spring to fall. Flowers likely to be encountered include shooting stars, pale purple coneflowers, spiderwort, prairie dock, white wild indigo, yellow coneflower, wild bergamot, showy goldenrod, rattlesnake master, and many others from May through October. These two preserves both allow for dogs on the trails as long as they are on a leash. This preserve and the He-Leo Two Rivers Preserve are the only preserves in the District that allow dogs on leash on the trail system along with the Don Hamer Bike Path at the Jarrett Prairie Preserve. There are 3 miles of trails that loop through these two preserves and take visitors through prairies, oak savannas and oak woodlands. There is also a small shelter on top of the ridge with a picnic table to take a break from your hike and enjoy the beauty and peace of this preserve.