ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Ann Wasser, Director of Severson Dells, says, “Severson Dells is amazing! We’ve got 370 acres of property here and we’ve got a stream, a pond, almost 3 miles of trails”

Those trails lead the pathway to natures beauty…. the dells themselves.

“It is a beautiful spot. Very unique. Again, with the dells themselves, it’s a geological feature that you don’t get to see in a lot of places,” Wasser said. “The creek is a great place to explore. Get down to the pond and listen to some of the frogs.

Not only that, but there’s a little bit of heaven for avid bird watchers with the array of different feeders which attracts woodpeckers, Indigo Bunting, orioles and more.

“It’s a great place for birding and a lot of people just grew up, coming out here with their families, because even their parents were coming out here, before it was a forest preserve,” Wasser said. “So, there is that…long time personal connection to this place.”

That personal connection stems from the history behind the founders, Harry and Fannie Severson.

The Seversons loved nature so much they wanted to make sure its natural beauty was preserved.

So, they donated all 370 acres of their family farm to the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District in 1975. 

Part of that donation included a house, which the couple use to live in, is now converted into the Nature Center Deer Lodge. The living room is now an educational exhibit.

The deer lodge includes a library, bookstore, classroom, conference room and display area.

“Even if it’s snowing outside or buggy outside, you can still enjoy nature from inside the building,” Wasser said.

Severson Dells, located at 8786 Montague Road, provides year-round family fun,  in- and outdoors, from live music to hiking or canoeing.

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