Hoscheit Woods Forest Preserve
St. Charles, IL
- Bike & Nature Trails
- Horseback Riding
- Picnic Areas
The 162.62 acres that make-up this Forest Preserve were purchased by the District on Nov. 2, 2011, as part of the 2011 land acquisition and preserve improvement referendum. The preserve is the District's first in Wayne.
The property was first officially named "Little Woods Forest Preserve" on Aug. 14, 2012. Research has indicated this preserve was once within a prominent natural feature known as the “Little Woods.” The place names “Big Woods” and “Little Woods” likely originated from settlers in the 1830s, and were told to James Thompson and John Thompson, the first U.S. Government land surveyors dispatched to this region. The original 1839-40 Government Land Office survey maps generated from the Thompson’s field surveys for the County clearly show two large and distinct woodlands east of the Fox River. It is easy to see why each section of “Timber,” as labeled on the maps, comprising Big Woods and Little Woods, were so named.
It is interesting to note that a region and settlement named Little Woods did exist in the northern portion of St. Charles Township, east into DuPage County, and it was recognized by name from at least 1842 until July 7, 1853, when the name was changed to Wayne.
On April 14, 2015, the Forest Preserve Commission renamed this property as Hoscheit Woods Forest Preserve, in honor of John J. Hoscheit, who had recently completed serving 15 years as President of the Forest Preserve District. Commissioner Hoscheit was instrumental in the District tripling in size, under his leadership.
This preserve includes a horseback riding area. 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.