www.outdoors.chicago.il.us >> The Unofficial Cook County Forest Preserve District Page >> Picnic Maps >>
This page includes:
Busse Lake |
Habitat and Wildlife |
Canoeing, Rowboating, Sailboating |
Biking and Hiking |
Winter Sports |
Special Activities |
About this page
See also: Your Forest Preserve District
[CLONK Notes: the depth map that's part of this brochure is not ready yet. In the mean time, be sure to check the Busse Lake page and the annotated Busse Lake map at the Chicago Paddling/Fishing Pages.
Also, the Forest Preserve District's Busse Lake brochure doesn't have the orientation map found on many of the other "division" maps. But this one's easy to find -- just head east from Woodfield Mall. Busse Woods is bounded by I-290/IL-53 on the west, Golf Road (IL-68) on the north, Arlington Heights Road on the east, and Biesterfield Road on the south. Higgins Road (IL-72) runs through it diagonally.
Finally, this map doesn't show the nifty new bridge over Higgins Road just west of Arlington Heights Road, which went in a couple of years ago. ]
This water impoundment on Salt Creek was designed to serve two purposes; flood control and recreation. Year after year the creek waters downstream became increasingly damaging during flood stage. As a flood preventive measure, the waters are now held back and are available as an excellent recreation facility.
To provide sufficient depth for boating and fishing, approximately 25% of the lake basin was deepened to a depth of over ten feet. To further improve on the habitat, large areas were deepened to four and six feet. These lake depths are shown on the reverse side.
The 590 acre lake is the largest in the Forest Preserve District and has a very diversified habitat which provides excellent spawning sites for a wide variety of fish and natural setting for other forms of wildlife.
The project and its facilities were made possible through a cooperative program of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, U.S. Soil Conservation Service and the Illinois Division of Waterways.
Facilities in this preserve designed for barrier free access include: Comfort Stations, Fishing walls, Boat Rental Areas, and Model Airplane Flying Field.
Busse Forest Nature Preserve is a 437 acre woodland within the 3,700 acre Ned Brown Preserve. This area is also classified as a Registered National Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. This area is an unusually rich forest of oak, sugar maple and basswood on the upland sites and swamp white oak and ash on the flat and poorly drained areas. Marshes occupy the larger depressions. There is an abundance of wildflowers and shrubs -- exceptionally rich and colorful are the spring wildflowers which include the large-flowered trillium.
Bird Watching is especially good during the spring and fall migrations for waterfowl and shorebirds. The Shallow Water Areas have the potential to support large numbers of a wide variety of wildlife. These areas will produce dense aquatic vegetation for food and homes for ducks, geese, shorebirds, muskrat, mink and other animals. [CLONK Notes: and beavers...look for gnawed stumps.] In addition these areas will provide excellent spawning areas for fishes -- especially northern pike. The "edges" of these weed beds afford excellent fishing areas.
There is a sizable herd of white tailed deer that thrive in this area due to ample food and good cover.
The Elk Herd is a popular exhibit for observation of these once native animals. The herd is located in a fourteen acre enclosure at Arlington Heights and Higgins Roads.
Canoes, rowboats and sailboats are allowed only on the South and Main Lake with launching ramps available into both water areas. Electric trolling motors are allowed. Watercraft rental is available from April through October. Sailboaters should carefully study the water depths chart for ease of sailing. No gas outboard motors allowed.
The 590 acres of water within this lake opened to fishing on September 1, 1980. The North Pool contains 25 acres of water, the South Pool 146 acres and the Main Pool 419 acres. Fishes stocked were largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, northern pike, brown bullhead, channel catfish, crappie and walleye. The wide variety of shallows, drop-offs, brushy areas and open water afford an extremely productive and interesting fishery from the shoreline and boats. The six (6) fishing walls provide "deep" water fishing adjacent to the shoreline and four (4) have wheelchair ramps to the parking areas.
An Illinois fishing license is required for all persons except those under 16, disabled or blind. These waters are designated Fish Preserves--only two poles with no more than two hooks per pole per person. No bow and arrow fishing. There are no closed seasons, length limits or daily limits on fish EXCEPT: Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass--no more than 6 per day-must be over 14 inches in length; Northern Pike--no more than 3 per day--must be over 24 inches in length; Walleye--no more than 6 per day-must be over 18 inches in length.
Ice Fishing is permitted upon designated areas of the South and Main Pools. The inflowing creeks, resulting in thin unsafe ice, will prohibit the use of some of the waters. These ice fishing areas will be so posted.
|All Bass||6 Total||14" Minimum Length|
|Walleye||6||18" Minimum Length|
|Northern Pike||3||24" Minimum Length|
There are twelve (12) miles of bicycle trails planned for this area. In addition there are many miles of hiking trails for visual enjoyment of wooded areas, open fields, marshes and lakes.
Cross-Country Skiing is permitted upon any of the trails and open areas within the District -- except in the snowmobile areas or upon the lake surface.
Ice Skating will be permitted on the North Pool where a special area will be scraped free of snow. Ice thickness must be 4-inches.
Snowmobiling is restricted to the area so designated on the north side of Golf Road, and east of Frontage Road. Area open 8. .a. m. to 10 p. m. when 4-inches of snow base exists. Snowmobiles must be registered with bath the State of Illinois and the Forest Preserve District.
The Model Airplane Flying field is maintained specifically for this recreational use. Refined upkeep of the area is allowed by special clubs or groups.
This page is based on a publication of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, tIllinois, adapted for the web as a public service by CLONK. This web site is unofficial, and not associated in any way with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. CLONK is not responsible for any errors, either in the original publication or in this web version. The information presented here follows the original Forest Preserve District publication as closely as possible, with minor variations such as choice of typeface and added web links. CLONK cautions that items such as names of public servants and telephone numbers are subject to change! This web version was completed Summer, 2000.
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