Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Biking Blackwell Forest Preserve in DuPage County

Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville was shaped 15,000 years ago by the Wisconsin Glacier. In 1830, one of the area's first settlers, Erastas Gary (founder of Gary, Indiana) opened Gary's Mill, a grist mill. 130 years later, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County bought the land, named it for a former president of the district, and determined that it could convert a quarry on the land into a multi-use area to retain storm water and provide recreational activities. The quarry became Silver Lake and Mt. Hoy was a former county landfill site.

The parking area off Butterfield Road (Route 56) between Route 59 and Winfield Road is the southern terminus of the trail. Silver Lake and the sled hill on Mt. Hoy across the lake are the first sights you see as you bike north.

Next you progress through forest on this well maintained limestone path. The trail crosses Mack Road into large meadow areas.

The trail loops around a large lake surrounded by meadowland and ends on the north at Gary's Mill Road in another parking area for about a seven mile ride. The trail's southern end connects with the Illinois Prairie Path, which when taken east connects to the Danada-Herrick Lake Trail, and makes a nice 20 mile or so ride.

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