The 445-acre Hammel Woods was acquired between 1930 and 2011.
The preserve is part of the DuPage River preservation system, which conserves more than 1,500 acres.
The first 147 acres of Hammel Woods were the District's second and third acquisitions in 1930. The preserve is located at the site of the historic Grinton Mill and was named in honor of American soldiers who fought in the World War I battle in Hamel, France.
This preserve has three access areas, all in Shorewood: Crumby Recreation Area, DuPage River Access and Route 59 Access.
Hammel Woods protects forest and wetland habitats.
Wildlife found at the preserve includes the long-tailed weasel and least weasel.
The preserve is also home to a variety of plant species, including swamp thistle, bitternut hickory and white baneberry.
Amenities and activities
All three access areas feature 1.6 miles of natural surface trail, ideal for the following activities:
- Cross-country skiing
All three access areas also provides access to a 3.77-mile, paved segment of the DuPage River Trail, ideal for the following activities:
- In-line skating
- Cross-country skiing
DuPage River Access features a 10.8-acre, off-leash dog park, including a 2.3-acre enclosure exclusively for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for dog park use.
DuPage River Access offers six primitive campsites for family or group rental, with a permit capacity of six to eight people per site. The campsites are on flat to slightly sloped natural surface terrain in partial to full shade and provide access to fire pits and latrines.
There are four picnic shelters, two of which are available for rental:
- Crumby Recreation Area Shelter, which has a permit capacity of 120 people. is available for rental.
- Hidden Shelter at the Route 59 Access, which has a permit capacity of 100 people, is available for rental.
- Grinton Grove Shelter at the Route 59 Access may be used by groups of less than 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis. A permit is not required.
- Shorewood Grove Shelter is currently unavailable for rental until further notice due to a bat colony's inhabitance of the shelter.
DuPage River Access and Route 59 Access offer access to shoreline fishing on the DuPage River. State and District regulations apply.
DuPage River Access and Route 59 Access feature a canoe/kayak launch on the DuPage River. No launch pass is required.
Permits are available for geocaching at Hammel Woods.