The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

Current Headlines

Forest Preserve Team Takes on Trail Assessment



Photo for: Forest Preserve Team Takes on Trail Assessment

Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock

A team of Forest Preserve District employees will hit the trails this summer and fall with something that looks like a jogging stroller, but is really a sophisticated instrument designed to measure the paths.

They'll push the device along all 127 miles of paved, crushed limestone and natural surface trails located throughout the District's preserves.

The effort, which only a handful of governmental entities are implementing across the country, is part of the Forest Preserve's High Efficiency Trail Assessment Program. The program will lead to valuable information for all trail users, especially those with disabilities.

The recording device in the stroller contains a series of sensors that record trail slope, cross slope (the change in elevation from side to side), distance and obstructions.

Chronicling obstructions will be important for anyone who cannot physically handle more challenging trails, said Cori Crawford, the District's planning and geographic information system coordinator, who is overseeing the project.

"We are trying to get more information so people can make better decisions about our trails before going out to a preserve," she said. "They'll know how steep a trail is and what type of surface it has and obstacles they might encounter."

For instance, someone with a small child or a person who just had knee replacement surgery may seek a flat, easy trail for a walk. Some people also want to know which trails have stairs, roots or other obstructions that stick out into the path. All of those kinds of details will be collected during the program.

By measuring the grade of each path, trail distances will be more accurate than they have been in the past, Crawford added. Also, trail "stations" or spots along the paths will be recorded and linked to GPS every time there is a grade or cross slope change of a certain percentage or every so many feet, depending on the trail.

All of this data will be used to produce information sheets on each path, and this information will be posted at each trailhead.

"Ultimately, our goal is to provide detailed signage or information so path users can see what they will encounter on the trails," Crawford said.

About one-third of the trails have been assessed so far, and the data collection will continue through October.

News

Visitor Centers Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

11/19/2018

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, all Forest Preserve visitor centers will close at noon Wednesday, November 21, and remain closed Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23.

Read More


Mileage Marker Installation to Take Place Along OPRT

11/16/2018

Markers will be installed Saturday, November 17, at half-mile points along the trail sections owned by the Forest Preserve.

Read More


Volunteer Spotlight: Rita Renwick Teaches Others About Her Passion for Nature

11/16/2018

Rita Renwick has a last name that’s familiar to many in the Plainfield area. The long-time volunteer even worked as part of the group to preserve the Lake Renwick area and its rookery, but she isn’t related to the family that once owned the property that is now the preserve.

Read More


The Citizen Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates