| Story by Meghan McMahon |
Illinois is a state much more known for its open than dense forests, but if you look across northern Illinois, you’ll find pockets of forest that break up the wide open spaces. In Will County, Hammel Woods is one of many of these pockets of forests where trees dominate the landscape.
Hammel Woods is one of the Forest Preserve’s oldest preserves, with the first 147 acres acquired as the District’s second and third property acquisitions in 1930. The preserve was named for American World War I soldiers who fought in a battle in Hamel, France.
Today, the preserve includes 445 acres and is part of the DuPage River preservation system, which conserves 1,500 acres in all. Hammel Woods has three access areas, all in Shorewood: Route 59 Access on Route 59 and Crumby Recreation Area and DuPage River Access on Black Road.