Cycle Chicago, Sightseeing Ride, Meacham Grove Forest Preserve

This easy ride through the lovely 252- acre Meacham Grove Forest Preserve in Bloomingdale is memorable because it circles a small former-quarry turned lake, which attracts fishers and captures serene sunsets. You’ll also remember the short steep hill that will barely cause you to break a sweat but will surely bring a smile to your face if you race someone to the top…and then coast back down to climb again.

Terrain

Flat crushed limestone path except for one small but steep hill and one short section over a rougher crushedgravel path on the western side of the preserve.

Access 

This ride is not convenient to transit. By car, exit Interstate 355/290 westbound at Highway 20 (Lake Street). After two miles, turn right (north) onto Circle Avenue. After 800 feet, turn left into the forest preserve.

Food and Drink

Only water in the preserve.

Side Trip

Visit any of the many other small but attractive forest preserves in the vicinity, including Spring Creek, East Branch, Oak Meadows and Mallard Lake preserves and Pratt’s Wayne Woods.

 

More Details

Flat crushed limestone path except for one small but steep hill and one short section over a rougher crushed-gravel path on the western side of the preserve Small but pretty, Meacham Grove Forest Preserve is a pleasant place for a quick spin through a bit of nature. The Potawatomi Indians lived here before settlers arrived starting in the 1830s. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County began acquiring the land in 1920 and has continued to do so as it develops this handsome preserve.

It drained and enlarged the former quarry, creating Maple Lake, which is well stocked with fish, judging from the number of fishers usually found at the preserve. Recently, the forest preserve district built an embankment along Spring Brook, which feeds the lake, and a dam to hold back the Maple Lake Reservoir. These structures add wetlands to the preserve and provide flood relief to the surrounding communities. The forest preserve district also capped and regraded an abandoned landfill, resulting in the small hill. You could approach the hill clockwise from the back for a gentle climb, but this counterclockwise route takes you right up the steep side – just for the fun of it.

Get a big running start and be prepared to run through all your gears. For some serious training, take the path circling the hill counterclockwise a dozen times without a break. Don’t miss the 0.4 mile trail between Bloomingdale- Roselle and Rosedale roads on the western side of the preserve. Bikes are allowed on this crushed-gravel path, even though the forest preserve’s map depicts this path similarly to the nearby hikers-only Savanna Trail, which is a dirt path through a fragile ecosystem. The shade and dense woods found along this side trail contrasts nicely with the openness of the trail around Maple Lake in the main section of the preserve.  

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start at information kiosk and ride counterclockwise (north).
  • 0.7 Cross metal bridge, which was thoughtfully equipped with wide boards in the middle to accommodate bikes.
  • 0.8 Turn right.
  • 1.2 Bear left to cross large bridge over highway.
  • 1.4 Path turns into crushed gravel as you enter a dense forest, but keep riding.
  • 1.7 Turn around and return.
  • 2.1 Cross large bridge over highway.
  • 2.5 Turn right and pick up speed in order to zip up the short but steep hill straight ahead.
  • 2.9 Slow down and turn left at the T at the bottom of the hill.
  • 3.0 Turn left at T, passing alongside Maple Lake.
  • 3.2 Turn right to circle the lake clockwise, this time around. Bike toward and then over the bridge.
  • 4.1 End ride at information kiosk.
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    6.47 km / 4.02 mi

    Total Distance

    89 m / 292 ft

    Total Ascent

    89 m / 292 ft

    Total Descent

    238 m / 779 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: <1 hr
    Fitness Level: Low
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 7.0
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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