Roland Olson Forest Preserve is a well manicured park an easy drive from Rockford, Illinois or the Northwest Chicago suburbs. This lovely park has a long equestrian history. It was originally a 127 acre polo complex and was donated to the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County to ensure that space for local equestrians would be maintained. The park boasts a wide and easily accessible trailer parking area with space for several trailers, a tidy sand arena with an announcers stand with electricity, tie rails, a water pump, and picnic tables dotted across the pristine equestrian area and trailhead.
The trails through the park are wide, mowed grass and the trees and shrubbery are trimmed to allow two riders to ride side by side. The majority of the trails circle restored prairie that once housed the polo fields. One third of the trails pass through remnant pine plantations and upland forest. At only 1.5 miles, Roland Olson Forest Preserve does not offer an extensive trail system but the park is beautifully maintained and chock full of amenities. When we visited, the prairies were bursting with wild flowers and it would be a joy to see in all seasons. Roland Olson Forest Preserve is a fantastic place to get in both an arena workout and cross-training on trails. It would also be a fantastic park for beginning riders or horses due to thes safety of the well-groomed trails. Our only critique is that we would love longer trails but the restored prairie and lovely park would definitely deserve two loops which would help increase mileage.
Mid April to Mid November
Designated Trailer Parking
Sand arena with announcer stand with electricity located at designated horse trailer parking.
3 miles east of Roscoe on Burr Oak Road, south ½ mile on Atwood Road.