Pratt's Wayne Woods - West Trail to Lake Trail Connector
At 3,433 acres, Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve in Wayne is the largest forest preserve in the county. It offers great fishing and a place to fly model planes and is home to the Brewster Creek Marsh Nature Preserve. The preserve is located on the outwash plain of the West Chicago Moraine. Made up largely of wetlands, this landscape combines calcium-rich water with wet sandy soil to support plant life more commonly seen near Lake Michigan.
The grass trails located northwest of Catfish Pond and Pickerel Lake are used extensively by campers, hikers, bikers, the Wayne Fox Hunt Club, and Grounds Management staff. However access is restricted at times due to puddling after rain events, horse traffic (rutting from hooves while wet), and regular turf restoration needs.
This proposed trail involves converting 0.3 miles of existing 10-foot-wide turf trail west of Camp Prairie to a 10-foot-wide multipurpose limestone trail that would complete a paved loop trail between West Trail and Lake Trail, improving year-round use for visitors and access for Grounds Management staff. Minimal tree/brush removal, grading, and minor landscape restoration is also required to complete the proposed improvements.
The surface would be much improved for all patrons as the limestone can withstand equestrian, vehicular, bike, and equipment traffic through most conditions.
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 was awarded federal Recreational Trails Program grant funding through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The project is currently in the design phase, with permits anticipated for fall of 2023 and construction anticipated for spring of 2024.
To be determined pending grant award notification.