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.
Gougar Road Access is one of three access areas to the preserve, with Bruce Road Access in Homer Glen and Route 6 Access 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 the 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 partnership.
Amenities and Activities
Gougar 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)
- Cross-Country Skiing
Gougar Road Access offers one picnic shelter for rental, Gougar Road Access Shelter, with a permit capacity of 100 people. Learn more about picnic permits and fees.