Bliss Woods has long been a favorite preserve in the south part of Kane County. Here, visitors can see a unique – and increasingly rare – geologic features, such as the last remnant of the Kaneville Esker. This is a winding ridge of gravel and rocks created by a river of water flowing underneath a melting glacier some 13,000 years ago. Most of the esker is gone after years of gravel mining.
On the steep slopes of the esker there are two distinct forest habitats. The south slope, with relatively more exposure to sun and wind, is characterized by oak-hickory woodlands with an array of early spring wildflowers. The more-shaded slope on the lee side of the esker is covered by sugar maple and basswood trees.
The Virgil-Gilman Trail runs east and west through the preserve and connects with Hannaford Woods-Nickels Farm Forest Preserve to the north. Blackberry Creek meanders through the southern part of the forest preserve, and its associated riparian habitat supports many forms of wildlife. Crowning the diversity of this region is a large 18-acre wetland basin on the north side of KeDeKa Road.
The outstanding ecological and geological features have led to Illinois State Nature Preserve
status in portions of the forest preserve. An active group of volunteers regularly works to restore and maintain the health of this special ecological gem.