Lake Chaminwood Preserve Reopens Following Improvement Project

After a two-month closure for construction work, the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Lake Chaminwood Preserve near Channahon reopened Thursday, June 22, with a bigger parking lot, a pedestrian welcome plaza and new pathways linking to the existing trail.

The paved parking lot has increased in size from 21 spots to 74 spots to accommodate the number of visitors the popular 120-acre preserve has been attracting since it first opened in 2012. A gravel parking lot has added for kayak and canoe trailer parking. And the preserve entrance has been relocated 300 feet farther west along Shepley Road. A new accessible kayak launch and floating dock for the 35-acre lake will be completed in about a month.

In July, phase two of improvement work at Lake Chaminwood will go out for bid. This work will connect the 0.7-mile Lake Chaminwood Trail to the 61.5-mile I&M Canal Trail. The trail extension will feature a 90-foot bridge over the I&M Canal. While the planned path connection is short, it will link to the 61.5-mile I&M Canal State Trail.

Eventually, the DuPage River Trail will be extended to its southern terminus at Lake Chaminwood. When that happens, the Lake Chaminwood Trail will serve as the crucial link between the much longer DuPage River and I&M Canal trails. The preserve will remain open during phase two, but Lake Chaminwood and I&M Canal trail closures will be necessary.

Funding for the Lake Chaminwood project is coming from a $750,000 donation (paid in two installments) from the Dollinger family, an $80,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Boat Grant program for the accessible kayak launch and the Forest Preserve’s Capital Improvement Program.

For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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