New trail joins DuPage forest preserve biking network with Wheaton neighborhood
The Danada-Herrick Lake Regional Trail winds through woodlands, past wetlands home to herons and turtles, aster-filled prairie and horses grazing at the Danada Equestrian Center.
The trail links two of the most popular DuPage County forest preserves -- Danada and Herrick Lake.
A new segment, the Cromwell Trail, officially opens Saturday with an inaugural bike ride and hike led by forest preserve commissioners. The 10-foot-wide limestone path increases public access from a Wheaton subdivision to the forest preserve district's trail system, officials say.
"This is an opportunity to connect a neighborhood that really did not have a safe connection to that trail," forest preserve President Daniel Hebreard said.
The new section runs along Butterfield Road, connecting the existing regional trail to Cromwell Drive, the Stonehedge subdivision and Wheaton's bicycle network. Improvements at the Butterfield Road intersection include pedestrian signals and crosswalk striping.
"I know that community is thrilled, and so we really want to celebrate that," Hebreard said.
Hebreard, forest preserve commissioners, representatives from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and neighbors will gather at 10 a.m. Saturday at the district's headquarters in Wheaton to mark the completion of the trail project.
After some refreshments and remarks, people are invited to hike or bike on the Danada-Herrick Lake Regional Trail to the new connection and back to the district headquarters, located at 3S580 Naperville Road. Forest preserve police will be on hand for free bike safety checks.
"It'll be about a two-mile round trip," Hebreard said.
The district obtained a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program to fund $200,000 of the construction. With the grant, the district budgeted $441,500.
As crews finished up the odds and ends, many bicyclists couldn't resist taking a spin on the 0.4-mile Cromwell Trail.
Families can now bike from their neighborhood, cross Butterfield Road and continue east to Danada or west to Herrick Lake.