New bike trails, picnic shelter at Elburn Forest Preserve

By on October 8, 2011

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Elburn Forest Preserve has been expanded to include 168 acres and has seen some new improvements that are receiving kudos from users.

“While the eastern part of the preserve isn’t officially open to the public, we’ve had quite a bit of positive feeback from preserve users and neighbors who’ve seen the improvements,” said Laurie Metanchuk, director of community affairs and environmental education.

Some of the improvements include:
• more than a mile of paved trail,
bringing the trail total to 2.21 miles
• a new picnic shelter
• new restrooms
• bike rack
• informational kiosk
• interpretive signage
• access to adjacent residential streets
off Shannon and North

Metanchuk said there will be an official grand opening celebration next year, possibly in May.

Elburn Forest Preserve is known as the “squirrel preserve,” being home to Fox, Gray and Flying squirrels. The Fox Valley Wildlife Center ( is located there, providing care for orphaned and injured wildlife. The FVWC is not for profit and is the only licensed wildlife rehab center in the county.

The preserve is one of the oldest in the county, and according to the Kane FPD website, the old stone shelter was built from salvage taken from a Depression-era Elburn church.

An historical marker at the entrance indicates the location of the Oregon Trail. Visitors will find Trillium, Buttercups and Violets, and White, Black and Bur Oaks. Also found in the preserve is the county’s oldest Shagbark Hickory tree.

You can find more information at the Kane County Forest Preserve website at