The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Lake Chaminwood Preserve near Channahon will be closed to the public for several months starting Thursday, April 20, for an improvement project that will expand the parking lot and add other amenities to the site.
The preserve, which features a 35-acre lake and a 0.7-mile paved trail, opened in 2012 and is a popular site, which sometimes leads to a lack of parking and forces preserve patrons to park on Shepley Road.
As a result of this congestion, the Lake Chaminwood parking lot will be more than tripled from 21 spots to 74 spots, and the existing vehicle entrance will be relocated approximately 300 feet west along Shepley Road.
The project also includes a new accessible kayak launch, a floating dock, a pedestrian welcome plaza and new pathways to connect the new parking lot to the lake and existing trail. The project is expected to be completed in June.
A second phase of improvements is scheduled to be bid in June or July, and if all goes as planned, that work will be completed by the end of the year.
Phase two will include two new accessible fishing piers and a 0.25-mile extension of the Lake Chaminwood Trail. This short path addition will provide a crucial connection to the 61.5-mile I&M Canal State Trail via a 90-foot bridge over the canal. The I&M Canal State Trail travels from Rockdale to LaSalle.
Lake Chaminwood is the planned southern terminus of the DuPage River Trail. Connecting Lake Chaminwood to the I&M Canal State Trail now will allow for the regional DuPage and I&M Canal trails to be connected in the future.
Funding for the Lake Chaminwood project is coming from a $750,000 donation (paid in two installments) from the Dollinger family, an $80,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Boat Grant program for the accessible kayak launch and the Forest Preserve’s Capital Improvement Program.
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.