Striking displays of springtime blooms are blanketing the county’s woodlands, and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County invites visitors to enjoy them while they last.
“Favorable weather conditions, including the warmer temperatures we’ve recently experienced and an abundance of moisture in the soil, have led to large patches of flowers sprouting up in many woodlands,” says Scott Kobal, the district’s plant ecologist.
But it may be a shorter-than-usual season, Kobal adds, so visitors should head to the forest preserves soon. Species such as spring beauties, false rue anemone and large-flowered trilliums were reported in bloom last week. Jack-in-the-pulpits, May apples, red trilliums, Jacob’s ladders, wild hyacinths and a few others might be flowering through the end of May.
One forest preserve noted for spring wildflowers is Meacham Grove in Bloomingdale. The area west of Bloomingdale-Roselle Road, which is also a designated state nature preserve, has the largest populations of red and white trilliums in the region, and visitors can loop through the display via the half-mile Savanna Trail.
Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve in Oak Brook is a good choice for beginner botanists, who can pick up wildflower guides at the visitor center and follow the marked Wildflower Trail to see Virginia bluebells, woodland phlox, wild geranium and more.
Kobal notes, though, that any mature woodland is likely to have a few flowers on display, suggesting additional forest preserves such as Maple Grove in Downers Grove, Waterfall Glen in Darien, West DuPage Woods in West Chicago, Greene Valley in Naperville, and Danada in Wheaton.
Most DuPage County forest preserves are open daily from one hour after sunrise to one hour after sunset, and none have admission or parking fees. Visitors can find locations and trail maps at dupageforest.org under “Places to Go” and “Forest Preserves.”
Visit dupageforest.org or call 630-933-7200.