Today
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2014
Sunrise:
5:51 AM
Sunset:
8:34 PM
 
Hours
Open daily one hour after sunrise until one hour after sunset
Stats
Acres
358
Location
West Chicago, IL
Trails
2 Miles
Features
Parking
Habitats
Prairie/
Grassland
Wetland
Woodland
Activities
Hiking Wildlife Watching
 

West Chicago Prairie

The 358-acre West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve in West Chicago is one of the region’s premier natural areas.

In addition to wIllinois Nature Preserves Logoetlands and upland oak savannas, the preserve is home to one of the most biologically diverse sites in northeastern Illinois, the 126-acre Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve. It is one of eight state-designated nature preserves in DuPage County owned and operated by the Forest Preserve District.

The Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve has historically contained native vegetation from the Northeastern Morainal Division, a section of moraines and related features from the Wisconsin Glacier. In fact, this remnant ecosystem has provided rare and specialized habitats to some 622 plant and animal species, several rare or endangered.

The area is named for Richard Truitt, the former mayor of West Chicago who discovered the site, and Melvern “Mel” Hoff, who donated over 20,000 hours as volunteer site steward to help manage it.

Because state law prescribes that progressive efforts continue to protect and manage the Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve and surrounding nature preserve land, the District has designed and adopted a detailed natural-areas management plan. It specifies rules that are consistent with the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act and collaborates with joint rules for management of state nature preserves, including the proper use of the area by scientists, educators, and the public.

Recreation

West Chicago Prairie is different from other DuPage County forest preserves in that it contains no large picnic areas or fishing lakes. Instead, it offers visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy a tranquil walk through one of the state’s rarest — and richest — prairie ecosystems.

For everyone’s convenience, West Chicago Prairie offers portable toilets near the parking lot.

Trails

Nine linking footpaths meander through West Chicago Prairie. Many connect with the Illinois Prairie Path, which leads outside of the forest preserve and connects with West Chicago’s Reed-Keppler Park.

Because the Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve and other nature preserve land covers all of West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve, in accordance with the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act, bicycles and horses are not allowed at the forest preserve.

Dogs

In accordance with the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act, dogs are not allowed at West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve.

Volunteer Opportunities

Working under the direction of the Office of Natural Resources, volunteer site stewards and “Volunteer Restoration Workday” participants help to monitor and manage the Truitt-Hoff Nature Preserve, the most diverse and unique remnant prairie on District land, as well as the marshes and savannas that also make up this preserve. For information on volunteer opportunities at West Chicago Prairie and other forest preserves, visit the Natural Resource Management volunteer page, or contact Volunteer Services at (630) 933-7681 or volunteer@dupageforest.org.

Accessibility

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is committed to making its facilities accessible to all visitors. For special accessibility needs or concerns, please contact the District's ADA coordinator at (630) 933-7683 or
TTY (800) 526-0857 at least three business days in advance of your visit.

Brouse Aloud Get Adobe Reader
©2014 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
EMPLOYMENT   |   BIDS AND PROPOSALS   |   LINKS   |   RULES AND REGULATIONS
CONTACT US   |   PRIVACY POLICY   |   TERMS OF USE   |   SITE MAP