The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will construct a 0.5-mile long 10-foot-wide multiuse trail along Mack Road at the north end of St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville. The trail will connect to the preserve’s main loop trail system and an existing service drive with the carriage walks along Winfield Road.
The project will include an equestrian trailhead feature with a rest area and overlook. The trail will provide a connection between St. James Farm and Cantigny Park just north of Mack Road running parallel to Mack Road through a former agricultural field that is being restored to prairie as well as on the edge of the woods at the corner of Winfield and Mack Roads.
The project completes the last major trail segment north of Butterfield Road in St. James Farm’s master plan.
Construction is expected to begin in August 2020 and be complete by end of May 2021.
The trail received an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trail Program grant for $200,000, which specifically required accommodations for equestrian users. The remainder of the $294,315 project will be covered with funds from the St. James Farm endowment.
St. James Farm Preserve was once a private estate. Today the forest preserve features more than 100 acres of woodlands, prairies and wetlands that are home to over 300 native plant and animal species. Agricultural fields border these ecosystems on the north and south.
A 2.3-mile section of Spring Brook — a tributary of the West Branch DuPage River — was restored in 2015. The creek now connects to the surrounding floodplain and newly created wetlands. A pedestrian bridge over the waterway along with a 0.75-mile multiuse trail highlights both the restoration of Spring Brook as well as woods.