One of the oldest forest preserves in DuPage County, the 81-acre Maple Grove Forest Preserve in Downers Grove is the largest remnant of the vast maple forest that became Downers Grove. The preserve is categorized as a "globally endangered ecosystem" by ecologists. It features trails, picnic tables and a creek running through it.
Maple Grove's remnant black maple savanna and upland maple forest communities host hundreds of different types of plant, some threatened or endangered. Because less than 0.5 percent of Illinois’ natural areas are intact today, Maple Grove is both a rare historic forest and a valuable natural area.
Spring is an especially wonderful time to visit, when carpets of trilliums, trout lilies, violets, Virginia bluebells, buttercups and wild geraniums are in bloom. In fall, the woodlands — home to birds from indigo buntings to hawks and great horned owls — put on a spectacular show.