white oak Arlene Shoemaker Forest Preserve

Aurora Township

1400 Felten Rd.
Aurora, IL

Bike and Nature Trails
Hiking

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Named in honor of past Forest Preserve District President Arlene Shoemaker, this preserve provides a forested respite in the midst of urban Aurora. The Aurora Branch of the Illinois Prairie Path runs along the north border of the preserve, serving as a link between Kane and DuPage counties.

The forest preserve is one of the few bastions of the woodland community known as flatwoods. In this specialized woodland, clay soil creates an impermeable layer that holds rainwater in wet seasons, yet is dry the remainder of the year. Tree species such as Swamp White Oak and Shagbark Hickory thrive in these conditions. Herbaceous plants that can tolerate both very wet and very dry conditions grow here also. This area is a haven for birds and other wildlife.

Between 1998 and 2000, 95 acres were purchased from five owners. In 2004, 21 additional acres were added from nearby subdivision holdings.

A screenings trail was added to connect patrons from the south parking lot through the woods to the Illinois Prairie Path.

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