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M: McDowell Grove Forest Preserve
This 465-acre McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois, is comprised of mature woodlands, open fields with eastern bluebirds and Cooper’s hawks, and a floodplain forest with towering butternuts and black maples. It’s recently been the site of a dam- modification project, which will return the stretch of river to a healthier, more natural waterway and improve aquatic habitats.
- Picnics: Picnickers can reserve either the 25-person shelter along the river or the 150-person picnic area to the southeast through Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 but must do so at least three business days before their visit.
- Trails: McDowell Grove features nearly 7 miles of looped turf and limestone trails for hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and horseback riders. The trails connect to the Regional Trail, which links with four other preserves.
- Fishing: Anglers can access the 22-acre Mud Lake and the West Branch of the DuPage River from McDowell Grove Forest Preserve. The state has stocked the river with smallmouth bass for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers will find catfish, bass, carp, sunfish and bluegill in Mud Lake.