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New DuPage river trails in Bolingbrook open next week

10/16/2015, 11:04 a.m.
The two segments stretch north and south from the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Whalon Lake in Bolingbrook.
A ribbon cutting will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm in Bolingbrook for two new DuPage River Trail segments leading north and south from the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Whalon Lake. The trail extensions will connect Whalon Lake to regional trails throughout northern Illinois and to the Bolingbrook Park District’s Trout Farm site.

The Will County Forest Preserve District provided this news release:

Two new DuPage River Trail segments that stretch north and south from the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Whalon Lake in Bolingbrook will officially open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, during a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Officials from the Forest Preserve District and the Bolingbrook Park District will attend the event to mark an exciting new chapter in trail connectivity and interagency collaboration. The project links two popular recreational spots: Whalon Lake and the Park District’s Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will consist of a brief program, the ribbon cutting and refreshments. This will be followed by a short walk for those interested in participating. Those attending should park at the Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm at 419 Trout Farm Road in Bolingbrook. The site of the ribbon cutting ceremony will be nearby.

The trail extensions, although short, greatly improve pedestrian and bicycle access to extensive trail systems in northern Illinois.

The northern trail extension stretches 429 feet from the Whalon Lake loop trail to Royce Road at Paxon Drive and includes a crosswalk, safety island and flashing lights. Paxon Drive has an existing bicycle lane that connects to Greene Valley Forest Preserve in DuPage County.

The northern trail segment also links Whalon Lake to the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve trail system in Darien, the Veteran’s Memorial/Centennial Trail in Will and Cook counties and the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail, which travels south through Will County and then west to Grundy and LaSalle counties.

The southern trail extension travels 595 feet from the Whalon Lake loop trail across the DuPage River to the Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm. This trail includes 300 feet of boardwalk and connects to Bolingbrook Park District trails extending along the south side of the DuPage River.

The southern link was constructed in partnership with the Bolingbrook Park District. The Park District contributed $110,600 to the $456,000 overall project cost. The project received a grant from the state for $150,550, however the grant was suspended in early 2015. Because the project was integral to multiple trail connections, the Forest Preserve District decided to continue with construction.

In addition to the trail additions, the project also included the installation of outcropping stone to prevent erosion along the shoreline between the fishing wall and the pier at Whalon Lake.

For more information on Whalon Lake and the Forest Preserve District’s 127-mile trail system, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.