Nature Preserves

Green Swamp

Conservation & Environmental Lands Management oversees 63,000 acres of preserved land that protects wildlife habitat and offers nature-based recreation. Additionally, these lands provide flood protection, improve air quality, and naturally filter water.

Find a Nature Preserve

Hours to Access the Preserves

Nature preserves are open daily from sunrise to sunset, unless posted otherwise.

The Nature Preserve Experience: Be Prepared. Be Safe.

Our Nature Preserves provide a primitive wilderness experience. On a preserve, development is kept to a minimum to protect natural areas and wildlife.

Most nature preserve access points have small, unpaved parking lots for a trailhead and no amenities other than a small kiosk to provide trail information. The majority of them do not have restrooms or running water available.

Trails are unpaved, may be underwater and/or muddy, contain limited trail markers, may consist of rough terrain, and may expose trail users to extreme environmental conditions.

When visiting a nature preserve always bring:

  • The correct trail map for your destination
  • A compass or GPS
  • Plenty of drinking water
  • Appropriate shoes
  • Sun protection

Using Blazes to Guide Your Way

A trail blaze is colored paint--usually red, blue, or yellow--marked on posts or trees that help to guide you in the proper direction while hiking or horseback riding.

Whenever you come to an intersection, look ahead in each direction for the colored blaze of the trail you are on and continue in that direction. Even though a trail may be marked with blazes, you should still always carry a map.


All of our Nature Preserves are covered under the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). Find out about ELAPP and the conservation lands it protects.

Nature Preserve Brochure