MT. ZION, Ill. (WCIA) – Sitting on 150 acres, right in the middle of town, sits Spitler Woods State Park.

“Just to have something out there that is untouched more or less and will stay that way is very important,” Vern Ford, Site Superintendent, said.

It’s more than just any old park. It’s a nature preserve.

“Illinois has been greatly deforested and we’ve always been a prairie area, but there’s not a lot of this old growth forest left in Illinois,” he said.

Which is why it’s important to state officials and to you.

“We have very little of this left and we think it’s important to maintain it and keep it in that pristine original state,” Ford said.

It’s a way you can step back in time in our town Mt. Zion.

“That’s probably the most unique thing here. You can come here and play soccer and basketball and then go into the woods and see something that is becoming more and more rare. Especially, here in Central Illinois where we’re all farmland. This is an important place and it’s something neat to have right in the middle of town,” he said.

That you can enjoy all year long.

“This is here for you. It’s your park, come use it. Come enjoy it,” Ford said.

There are several walking trails throughout the park. There’s even one that’s handicap accessible and you can rent shelters for parties and group activities, or just enjoy being in nature.