Two large forest preserves in south Naperville -- one in DuPage County and the other in Will County -- will be connected by a new 1.25-mile trail beginning next year, officials said this week.
Plans call for the link to connect the 1,414-acre Greene Valley preserve in DuPage with the 249-acre Whalon Lake preserve in Will.
Greene Valley near 79th Street and Greene Road, already contains roughly 11 miles of hiking trails. Whalon Lake, about a mile south of Greene Valley on Royce Road west of Route 53/Bolingbrook Drive, features a lake that once was a stone quarry.
The connection to the planned 40-mile DuPage River Regional Trail system will be part of a joint project by the forest preserve districts of both counties.
DuPage commissioners recently approved an intergovernmental agreement to provide for construction of the portion of the DuPage River Regional Trail inside Greene Valley.
Will County forest preserve officials approached DuPage with a plan to build the 1.25-mile trail link in cooperation with Elmhurst-Chicago Stone Company, which owns a quarry adjacent Whalon Lake.
The trail, which will run along Royce and Greene roads, is expected to cost roughly $690,000, with Will paying about $350,000 and Elmhurst-Chicago Stone the rest. The DuPage district will not contribute to the construction costs, but both districts will be responsible for maintaining their portion of the 10-foot-wide crushed limestone path once it's completed.
Officials say the new trail will provide a safer alternative for people hiking or biking between the two preserves.
The DuPage district has been working with various agencies to develop the East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail, a 31-mile bikeway that follows the East Branch of the DuPage River from Bloomingdale to Woodridge. Once the trail passes into Will County, it becomes the DuPage River Trail and follows the DuPage River through Naperville.
The trail eventually will connect to Channahon and the I&M Canal State Trail.