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A Diamond on the Bluff: Paul Wolff / Burnidge Forest Preserve of Kane County, Illinois

Updated on September 19, 2010

Among the woods and prairie

A Diamond on the Bluff


Nestled in an Illinois prairie on the Western edge of the population center for the City of Elgin, Illinois is a diamond on the bluff.  Elgin is sometimes called “Bluff City” as it is situated along the Fox River.  Illinois is known for its rich farmland and tranquil prairies.  The diamond is the Paul Wolff / Burnidge Forest Preserve of Kane County, Illinois.


This hidden gem on the outskirts of the Chicago megalopolis offers a wide array of amenities for family, friends, adventurers, and land lovers.  Covering approximately 580 acres, the forest preserve features the Paul Wolff Campground, two small stocked fishing ponds, trails galore, picnic accommodations, restroom facilities, and a small climbing rock for children to grapple with.  Ample parking throughout with service roads leads to various sites within the forest preserves.

Modern Campsites.

Campground Facilities


Modern campgrounds await thee.  The Paul Wolff campground features 89 improved camp spaces for campers and recreational vehicles.  These sites have 50 amp electrical service, access to water and a fire ring.  There are also ten, what are called “primitive campsites” for traditional tent camping.  One of the fabulous aspects of the campground are the five equestrian campsites.  Fully plumbed bathrooms are also available for campers in addition to the salt of the earth outhouses available at various locations around the forest preserve.  Arghh, no rum or other adult beverages are permitted in the forest preserve.

Beautiful Trails

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Three Types of Trails


The beautiful rolling prairies and wooded areas feature three different types of trails. In all, the forest preserve has approximately nine miles of trails.  This great preserve is a magnificent area for an uplifting hike, a terrific training run, a strenuous bike ride, and a fabulous pleasure ride via horseback.


Wooded trails are great for hill training and cross-country training.


Prairie Trails are cut wide 14 feet wide in most places for horses. The soft prairie surface provides an excellent opportunity for fartlek training.  They create excellent conditions for a long slow distance run as well.


Bridle Trails are perfect for horses.  The 2.25 mile “multi-purpose” trail is superbly designed for hiking, cross-training by bike, and speed training.

Paul Wolff / Burnidge Forest Preserve Location

A marker38 W 235 Big Timber Road, Elgin, Illinois -
38W675 Big Timber Rd, Elgin, IL 60136, USA
get directions

The Diamond on the Bluff


Enjoy what solemn nature has to offer at the Paul Wolff / Burnidge Forest Preserve of Kane County has to offer.  Bring your best-loved dog or horse to stretch out their legs in natural surroundings.  Breathe deep and luxuriate in captivating woodlands and prairies. Train hard. Run well. Live life.


Paul Wolff Campground / Burnidge Forest Preserve.

Located at 38 W 235 Big Timber Road, Elgin, Illinois.

Open from May 1st until October 31st.

Phone for Information:  630.444.1200.



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