McKinley Woods and Four Rivers Environmental Education Center


McKinley Woods and Four Rivers Environmental Education Center
McKinley Rd.
Chanahon, IL 60410
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McKinley Woods is the only place in Will County where you will find a combination of bluffs, deep ravines, and forest. These picturesque features were formed by a morainean accumulation of boulders, stones, and other debris carried and deposited by a glacier. Also among the preserve’s natural wonders are brilliant spring wildflowers and redbud trees, which throughout Will County are found growing naturally only in McKinley Woods. The portion of McKinley Woods west of the Des Plaines River features the 0.5-mile Heritage Trail and the 1.2-mile Trail of the Old Oaks, which take visitors through bluffs and ravines carved out by a receding glacier. For those looking for a longer hike, a short path leads to the 60-mile I&M Canal State Trail. The site also includes Frederick’s Grove, which offers two picnic shelters, one of which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s. This access area also features camping facilities, fishing opportunities, and a canoe landing. Follow the I&M Canal State Trail north and east of Frederick’s Grove, and you will find the District’s newest addition to the preserve, a peninsula in the Des Plaines River. This portion of the preserve also contains shoreline of the DuPage River and I&M Canal, and the Illinois River joins the Des Plaines River just south of the preserve. Hence, the Environmental Education Center opened on the site in 2008 is named Four Rivers, as is the nearby picnic shelter. The Environmental Education Center hosts public programs, school groups, and public rentals. North of Four Rivers is Kerry Sheridan Grove, which was named for a long-serving president of the District’s Board of Commissioners. The grove offers a picnic shelter and a nearby canoe launch, and fishing opportunities are abundant on shorelines throughout the site. Two loop trails on the peninsula lead bicyclists, hikers, and cross-country skiiers through woodlands and wetlands, with beautiful waterfront views.