Sand Ridge State Forest Professional Review and Guide
"For a state presumed to be all cornfield, Illinois boasts an amazing diversity of habitat: wetlands and forests, bluffs and meadows, canyons, and a wealth of lakes and rivers. One expanse of wilderness southwest of Peoria is even reminiscent of the desert. Sand Ridge State Forest sits atop 7,500 acres of sandy soil, about half oak–hickory forest, onethird pine, and much of the rest sand prairie.
At the close of the last ice age, the receding floodwaters left a vast amount of sand through this portion of the Illinois River valley. The winds sculpted the 100-foot dunes that became the wooded ridges the area is named for. This unique environment supports plant and animal species more typical of the Southwest than the Midwest, including prickly pear cactus."