The 1,829-acre Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville is a birder's paradise in addition to offering trails, picnicking areas, an off-leash dog area, a model craft field and state-designated nature preserve, and land and water reserve. It offers some of the best displays of summertime blooms.
Springbook Prairie has an extensive and extremely popular trail system that boasts over 6 miles of looped paved trail. Unfortunately, not all local visitors can easily access the trail.
Residents of the densely populated Brighton Ridge subdivision currently must cross five commercial entrances and the busy intersection of Naperville-Plainfield Road and 75th Street to reach trails within Springbrook Prairie.
A municipal sidewalk on the east side of Naperville-Plainfield Road runs from the subdivision’s Bailey Road south to the edge of the preserve but stops 0.25 mile short of the trailhead.
The new trail segment will connect the end of the sidewalk to the trailhead, which links to the Henslow’s and Sunflower trails as well as a trail underpass below Naperville-Plainfield Road. This will give residents safer access to Springbrook Prairie, the Southern DuPage Regional Trail and thousands of acres of open space.
The project is a master plan certified project.
Preliminary plans call for constructing a 10-foot-wide, 0.25-mile-long limestone pedestrian and bicycle trail along forest preserve right-of-way on the east side of Naperville-Plainfield Road. The trail will connect a municipal sidewalk along the Brighton Ridge subdivision to a limestone trailhead parking lot in the preserve. The project will also modify the trailhead and remove select trees and shrubs within the right-of-way and preserve.
The Forest Preserve District hosted a public hearing on the project on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at District headquarters at 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton.
Presentation on Projects (PDF)
The project is currently in conceptual design and programming phase. The District was notified in April 2021 that the project will be awarded a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Bicycle Path Program. Once the grant is fully awarded, the District can continue with trail design and obtaining necessary permits in winter 2021/2022, and construction is expected to be completed in 2022.
Approximately 50% of the project cost will be covered by an Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Bike Path grant; the remainder will be funded through the Forest Preserve District's yearly appropriated construction and development funds.
Map of Proposed Brighton Ridge Trail (PDF)