Fox River Bluff Forest Preserve straddles the Fox River in St. Charles. East of the river, the preserve is referred to as Fox River Bluff Forest Preserve.
During the 1980s, the Forest Preserve Commission placed emphasis upon acquiring the remaining river-edge property of the Redgate farm (on the west side of the river) and the Severson farm (east of the river). The land was farmed for a long time and still retains long stretches of riverbank.
The preserve's initial acquisition of 2 acres of railway right-of-way took place in 1984. A beautiful section of the Fox River Trail crosses the property upon the right of way of the old trolley line.
The wooded portion of the preserve, located south of Red Gate Road, is known as Norton Woods. This 31-acre portion was a donation to the Forest Preserve District in memory of Carol Ann Buck. This extraordinary gift is exceptional not only for the generosity but also for the unusual land form. It contains the mouth of Norton Creek and it is the point at which the Newark Valley rock formation is exposed to the surface. Norton Creek twists and turns in oxbow formation as it winds through the floodplain forest to the Fox River.
Between 1988 and 1991, 36 acres were added from the Severson Farm, with the aid of an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant. The former Severson farm is the northern section of Fox River Bluff Forest Preserve.
Additionally, nine acres were acquired from the City of St. Charles in 2002, along with what would become the eastern edge of the Red Gate Bridge in 2012.