The 726-acre Hadley Valley was acquired between 2000 and 2014.
The preserve is part of the Spring Creek preservation system, which conserves more than 2,000 acres.
Bruce Road Access is one of three access areas to the preserve, with Gougar Road Access and Route 6 Access, both in Joliet, serving as the other entry points.
PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE ON THIS PRESERVE'S INTERACTIVE MAP
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Hadley Valley protects a diversity of habitats, including forest, savanna, wetland and a portion of Spring Creek.
Wildlife found at the preserve includes more than 15,000 species of insects, birds, aquatic invertebrates, fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.
The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including tall swamp marigold, wahoo, great angelica, yellow avens and shingle oak.
The site is managed with invasive species control, prescribed burning, native species establishment and soil stabilization to protect and enhance its natural resources. Learn more about the District’s land management activities.
The preserve is also the location of the largest restoration effort in the District’s history — a stream de-channelization, wetland restoration, and wildlife habitat restoration project in 500 acres of the preserve — performed in partnership with the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Openlands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the O’Hare Modernization Program.
This project has won the following awards: the 2019 Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program accreditation from Chicago Wilderness; the 2010 Illinois Chapter of American Planning Association's Implementation Award; the 2009 Illinois Parks & Recreation Association's Outstanding Conservation Program; and the 2008 Chicago Wilderness' Excellence in Conservation Award. Download the Hadley Valley Brochure to learn more about this project and its partnerships.
Amenities and Activities
Bruce Road Access connects to a 5.01-mile, crushed limestone segment of the Spring Creek Greenway Trail, ideal for the following activities:
- Horseback Riding (trailer parking available at Gougar Road Access)
- Cross-Country Skiing
Bruce Road Access offers one picnic shelter, which may be used by groups of less than 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis. A permit is not required.