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Bliss Woods Forest Preserve
5S660 Bliss Rd.
Sugar Grove, IL 60554
Nature Preserve: Birding, Hike, Picnic, Walk, Water Sports
The esker, east of Bliss Road, is a special geological feature. It is a winding ridge of stratified gravel deposited by a sub-glacial river. The steep north and south facing slopes here hold two distinct, classic woodland habitats. The north slope has Sugar Maple and Basswood-Linden trees with a carpet of early spring ephemerals including Hepatica, Blood Root and Rue Anemone. On the south slopes an Oak-Hickory woods with a carpet of Dutchman’s Britches, Solomon’s Seal and Toothwort trails down to the flood plain of Blackberry Creek. An old ten acre farm field on the eastern edge is now returning to the wild. At the south along Blackberry Creek are broad expanses of Sedge meadows which meet little drumlin-like hills holding five different species of oak and many fine prairie edge plants such as Pussy Toes, Spring Beauties, and Shining Bed Straw. Continuing north, we enter a rich woods of majestic trees towering above a carpet of Blue Eyed Mary, Wild Ginger, etc. Crowning the diversity of this region is a large eighteen acre wetland basin on the north side of KeDeKa Road surrounded by a narrow band of woods which holds the County’s only stand of nationally endangered Golden Seal. Also here is the rare Spikenard and an exquisite array of ferns from delicate Maiden Hair and Fragile Ferns to the fascinating Marsh Shield and Sensitive Ferns all mingling here in their balanced aboriginal setting. The nearby Sugar Grove community got its name from an extensive grove of sugar maples which attracted Indians and early settlers for sugar making operations. Bliss Woods features shelters, parking areas, restroom facility and grills for outside cooking.