Take a Hike: Wood Dale Grove Forest Preserve

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Wood Dale Grove Forest Preserve by Patricia Hayden

This month I visited the Wood Dale Grove Forest Preserve in Addison. At this site there are two looped trails to explore. The site also offers fishing and picnicking.

The main entrance for Wood Dale Grove is on the east side of Wood Dale Road about a ½ mile north of Lake Street (Route 20) in Addison. When turning into the preserve, I went to the right and parked (there is also a parking lot if you turn left). There are lots of free parking spaces and a good number of handicapped spots available. The washrooms at the preserve were closed when I was there, but there were porta-pottys available.

From the trail start, I went to the right and began my counter clock-wise hike around Grove Lake also known as the South Loop. This limestone trail is approximately .5 miles. This trail is in full sun and lined with many beautiful grasses and trees – I saw ninebark, oak, hawthorn, birch, and maple. The lake level was high due to a recent rain, so the trail was a bit soggy in places. After walking about a third of the trail, I came to a split. I could either keep left and continue walking around Grove Lake or veer right which would take me into the forest and around the North Loop Trail.

I went right and into the forest. What a difference between the two trails! The North Loop Trail while also .5 miles and made of limestone, curves through restored woodlands around the South Woods Marsh, was very cool and shady (and also a bit soggy in places). The trail was winding and there was much to observe. I finally saw plants with some color – Wild geranium and what I believe was some kind of camas. As I walked the North Loop, I was eventually connected back with the South Loop (around Grove Lake).

As I finished up my walk around Grove Lake, I saw several sturdy looking piers designed for fishing. There were also many picnic tables as well as two large shelters that already had a good number of people setting up for what looked to be a nice day of picnicking.

This was a really nice preserve – I enjoyed the contrast between the two trails and was happy to see a bit of plant color.

More information about the site can be found here. You’ll also find information at that website about fishing licenses and how to reserve a picnic shelter.


This post is part of the “Take a Hike” series by Patricia Hayden. To learn more about this blog and see information about all other featured hikes click here.