Warrenville Grove

Warrenville Grove

The 131-acre Warrenville Grove Forest Preserve in Warrenville features trails, woodlands, picnic areas and the shoreline of the West Branch DuPage River, providing a respite for visitors since 1923. Its rich history, beauty and numerous amenities make it a favorite for many. 

 

Natural Scene

Warrenville Grove’s rolling topography consists of floodplain and upland woodlands, natural fens and the West Branch DuPage River. Its upland woodlands — some natural and some reforested — contain oak, maple and walnut species. The preserves’ fens — some natural and some in need of restoration — are delicate ecosystems containing rare vegetative species.

 

Driving Directions

Warrenville Grove is on Batavia Road 0.5 mile south of Butterfield Road (Route 56) and 0.25 mile west of Winfield Road.

Trails

A 0.7-mile section of the West Branch DuPage River Trail travels north from the Batavia Avenue parking lot through upland woodlands and natural fens to the Illinois Prairie Path – Aurora Branch, which connects to Blackwell, St. James Farm, Herrick Lake and Danada forest preserves.

 

Picnicking

Warrenville Grove has picnic tables and grassy areas where you can spread a blanket.

 

Fishing

Drop a line and enjoy great fishing along the West Branch DuPage River at Warrenville Grove.

Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois fishing licenses. Creel limits, minimum lengths and other regulations are on our Fishing page.

 

Boating

You can access the West Branch DuPage River via the canoe launch at Warrenville Grove. Watercraft must have Illinois water usage stamps or state registrations but do not need Forest Preserve District permits. For state boating requirements, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

 

History

Warrenville Grove’s Batavia Road parking lot used to be the site of an old mill that was a hub of activity for farmers and their families. A dam was built across the West Branch DuPage River to power a gristmill in 1847, and the mill produced 3,000 bushels of feed and 1,200 bushels of rye flour during the month of January by one account. Farmers from miles away brought their children to swim there while they waited in line at the mill, and the area became one of the best beach destinations for local families. The pond even served as a baptismal pool and sheep bath.

Over the decades the site housed two gristmills and a sawmill, each subject to repairs due to floods or ice damage. There were even fires in 1879 and 1897, the result of friction-generated heat from the gears’ nonstop operation. The mill lost in the 1997 disaster was the last. The District acquired its first 42-acre parcel in 1923, making Warrenville Grove one of the District’s oldest preserves. Additional parcels were acquired in 1960, the 1980s and 2000s.

Recent habitat restoration work along the West Branch included removing the dam in 2012, but you can still see the remnants of the dam’s limestone abutments from the 1930s and walk across the historic millrace as you listen to water gurgle over the re-created natural riffles.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!
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