Located just west of Elgin, Bowes Creek Woods Forest Presere is named for the creek that winds its way through the rolling terrain before heading to the Fox River. The preserve is part of a large tapestry of prairie, woodland and streams with a lovely walking trail that winds through the prairie and woods. Along the trail visitors will find a meandering stream and a grove of majestic old oak trees, still standing sentinel on the prairie.
The preserve is located along greenway corridors that connect Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve to the south and Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve to the north. As a whole, these three preserves provide vital habitat for native species of animals and plants.
In 2006, the first 183 acres of the preserve was acquired. The District quickly followed that acquisition up with an additional 58 acres. Acquisition and development assistance from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) made this gem of a preserve a reality for the residents of Kane County.
Bowes Creek Woods sees more and more visitors each year. It’s a wonderful place for bird watching, jogging, walking or picnicking at the shelter.
This preserve includes a horseback riding area, but please note, Bowes Creek Woods cannot accommodate equestrian parking. Most horse trails are natural surface, mowed-grass paths. Limestone screenings trails and asphalt bike trails are available in some of the preserves. These are multi-use trails shared with runners, bicyclists, dog walkers etc. Horse riders are required to stay on designated, forest preserve-maintained trails. Trail riding is not allowed in restricted natural areas, Illinois Nature Preserves, picnic areas or in farmed areas. To prevent trail damage during wet weather, trails may be temporarily closed. Individual forest preserves will post a sign at the entrance when horse trails are closed. Trails are currently OPEN for equestrian use at this preserve. Note: Even if the other equestrian trails are closed, the limestone trail at this preserve will remain open for riding, during preserve hours.