Fabyan Forest Preserve

Situated along the banks of the Fox River in Geneva, Illinois, the Fabyan Forest Preserve was formerly Riverbank, the country estate of George and Nelle Fabyan. George Fabyan ran the Chicago office of his father’s textile business, Bliss, Fabyan & Co. The estate contains the Fabyans’ country house, the Villa, a Japanese tea garden and a windmill. A guided tour of the Villa provides an excellent introduction to the Fabyans and their collection of Asian artefacts.



South of Geneva, Illinois on the Fox River, with entrances on both Route 25 and Route 31, just north of Fabyan Parkway. A detailed map of the preserve may be found here.

Managed By

Kane County Forest Preserve District

Distance from Downtown Chicago

43 miles from the center of town

How To Get There

Bike, Walk, Drive, Bus, Metra Rail


There are accessible parking spaces and restrooms. The Fox River Trail which runs through the preserve is accessible. The Japanese Garden is accessible.

Things To Do

Biking, Fishing, Hiking, Historic/Cultural Interest (the Villa, Japanese Tea Garden and Windmill), Jogging, Picnicking, Running, Sledding and Wildflowers

Fun Facts

At Riverbank George Fabyan established the first privately owned research laboratory in the United States, Riverbank Studios. The wife and husband team of Elizebeth and William Friedman got their start there as cryptographers and went on to do major work in the field of cryptography for the United States government. Elizebeth Friedman used her code breaking skills to thwart international smugglers, especially bootleggers, during the Prohibition era. During World War II her Coast Guard team was the primary intelligence source for Operation Bolivar, the German spy network in South America.

Other Information

Restrooms are located in the preserve.


Grab some delicious pastries at nearby Hahn’s Bakery, 303 Franklin Street, Geneva, Illinois.

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Best Time To Visit

Spring, Summer, Fall

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