Canoeing at Rock Springs Conservation Area

Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur, IL

Rock Springs Conservation Area and Rock Springs Nature Center are located at 3939 Nearing Lane in Decatur, Illinois.

Visit during expanded Thursday and weekend hours throughout the year.

Hours at Rock Springs Nature Center

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday:  8am  – 5pm
Thursday:  8am  – 8pm
Saturday:  9am  – 5pm
Sunday:  1pm  – 5pm

Closed New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas

Rock Springs Nature Center GPS Coordinates are 39.817713 N, 89.00932 W.

Rock Springs Nature Center is located on the southwestern edge of Decatur, Illinois.  To get to Rock Springs from Decatur go south on Route 48 and turn right onto Rock Springs Road. Watch for signs. Plenty of free parking is available.

Rock Springs Conservation Area
Rock Springs Conservation Area and Nature Center are located at 3939 Nearing Lane in Decatur, IL [get directions].

The Ecocenter at Rock Springs Nature Center

The Ecocenter at Rock Springs Nature CenterThe Ecocenter is a museum exhibit located inside Rock Springs Nature Center, designed to help you explore the natural history of Macon County. You’ll hear the sounds of native wildlife and learn how animals cope with surviving in an ever-changing environment.

The Nature Center at Rock Springs provides hands-on learning for the whole family. Programs, demonstrations, and workshops are scheduled throughout the year.

Rock Springs Nature Center Hours
Monday – Wednesday: 8am – 5pm
Thursday: 8am – 8pm
Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5pm
Closed New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas

Business Office Hours
Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm

Window on Wildlife

deer and turkey at Window on WildlifeA favorite spot for birdwatchers and photographers, the Window on Wildlife at Rock Springs Nature Center offers a view of the woods and overlooks a bird feeding area. Have a seat at the benches and enjoy the sights and sounds of wildlife (heard through amplified speakers). From this vantage point, you can observe birds that live in Central Illinois year-round as well as those that stop in during spring and fall migration.

You or your group or organization can sponsor the Window on Wildlife for just $50 a year.

Learn how to sponsor the Window on Wildlife

See Live Animals at the Nature Center

Observe live reptiles and amphibians native to Illinois streams, lakes, and rivers.

Sponsor a nature center animal!

Support nature education by becoming a Wildlife Partner for as little as $15 per year. When you become a Wildlife Partner, you symbolically adopt a resident live animal at Rock Springs Nature Center for one year. Your donation provides feeding, care, and supplies for that animal.

Become a Wildlife Partner to help feed the animals

North & South Wing Art Galleries and A.E. Staley Exhibit Hall

paintingSee works of art produced by local artists in various media in the North Wing Gallery and South Wing Gallery.  Stop by the A.E. Staley Exhibit Hall to see changing exhibits year-round.

See current & upcoming art exhibits

Charles Franklin Shilling Library

Charles Franklin Shilling LibraryVisit the library located in Rock Springs Nature Center.  This library includes books for children and adults on environmental education, nature, and history topics.  Macon County residents may check-out up to three items at a time.

Library Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9am – 4pm
Friday: 1pm – 4pm
Saturday and Sunday: By Request

If you would like to access the library at other times, ask a staff member or the volunteer at the information desk.

Rent or Borrow Equipment for a Nature Adventure

Make your trip to Rock Springs Nature Center even more special by borrowing our fishing equipment or a Family Exploration Pack for free – just ask!

boy fishing at Rock SpringsFishing Equipment

Borrow fishing equipment for free at Rock Springs Nature Center to fish in our ponds for catfish, bass, bluegill, and more. Just ask a volunteer at the nature center’s Information Desk.

Family Exploration Packs

Borrow a free Family Exploration Pack at Rock Springs Nature Center’s Information Desk. Packs include nature guides, binoculars, activity ideas, collecting tools, and a trail guide with the best spots circled. These packs are designed with both novice and experienced hikers in mind. Themes include: birds, bugs, pond-life, forests, prairies, spring/summer, fall, and winter. Use the packs to create your own adventure!

snowy trail at Rock SpringsCross-Country Skiing Equipment at Rock Springs

Rock Springs Nature Center offers cross-country skiing for ages 5 and up. There are trails for novice and experienced cross-country skiers. Four or more inches of snow is required for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. If in doubt, call 217-423-7708 to find out if conditions are favorable for cross-country skiing.

Cross-Country Ski Rental Fees

$8.00 for 2 Hour Rental
Includes skis, boots, and poles.

$20.00 for 24 Hour Rental
Includes skis, boots, and poles. Twenty-four hour rentals may be taken off-site.

*Equipment available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

>> Map of Ski trails at Rock Springs Conservation Area

>> Trail maps for all conservation areas

Have Your Next Event at Rock Springs Nature Center

Rock Springs Nature Center has several room sizes available for rent. Room rentals may include: set-up, coffee makers, audio-visual equipment, tables, chairs, and use of kitchen facilities.

The nature center’s exhibits, art galleries, and staff are also available to provide fun, educational programs.

Rooms at Rock Springs Nature Center are perfect for:

  • Wedding Receptions
  • Family & Class Reunions
  • Business Meetings and Conferences
  • Birthday, Retirement, and Anniversary Parties
  • Retreats, Seminars, and Classes
  • Field Trips
Learn more about Room Rentals at Rock Springs Nature Center