If you’re looking at apartments for rent in Chicago, you’ll be happy to learn about the beautiful green spaces the surrounding area has to offer. Nearby Aurora might have a suburban feel, but the city is also home to numerous parks and forest preserves. When you live at one of our Chicago apartments, you’ll be able to access both busy downtown areas and serene lakes, trails, and forests. If you’re looking to unwind from the stress of city life, a great place to clear your head is Oakhurst Forest Preserve.
Oakhurst Forest Preserve is the perfect example of environmental restoration in action. This wetland has been transformed into a marsh that is open to the public as a park. At Oakhurst Forest Preserve, you’ll be able to enjoy a nature oasis just a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Start the morning in our Chicago apartments, then head out after breakfast to enjoy nature. There is so much to explore!
Getting to the Preserve
Our Chicago apartments are conveniently located within 30 minutes of Oakhurst Forest Preserve. The Preserve is free to the public and open daily from sunrise to sunset. Once inside, you’ll find a variety of ways to connect with nature, as well as maintained park areas for your comfort. The road that takes you to the parking lots will also take you to covered shelters, bathrooms, and drinking fountains. There are picnic areas as well, so pack up a lunch to enjoy when you’re ready for break from walking or fishing. From the picnic area, you’ll have a great view of Lake Patterson. Bring your boat or fishing pole for some lake fun, or simply enjoy the view while you eat.
Trails to Explore
Oakhurst Forest Preserve has seven great trails to explore. Connector trails provide paths between these trails, which makes it easy to explore them all in a different order each time you visit the Preserve. If it’s your first time visiting, start your exploration at Lake Patterson Trail. This trail is a 1.61-mile loop that runs around Lake Patterson. It’s a great trail to explore while your friends enjoy fishing or boating in the lake. It’s right in the middle of the action, but at a place like Oakhurst, the action is always serene and relaxed.
The Fifth Avenue Bike Trail runs along the south end of the park. This 0.96-mile asphalt trail is perfect for biking and rollerblading. The other trails are unpaved and wind through the forested area, giving visitors the opportunity to be in nature. Other than Beaver Trail (which you can connect to via Lake Patterson Trail), all of the trails are accessible from the maintained grounds where you’ll park. This means you’ll always be able to find your path.
Fishing and Boating
Fishing is one of the most popular activities at the Oakhurst Forest Preserve. The lake is 48 acres, with depths ranging from 9 to 20 feet. The most abundant fish species in the lake are bluegill and black crappie. The black crappie population is among the best in the metro area, while the majority of bluegills caught in the lake are longer than six inches. The lake also has a good population of carp and largemouth bass, with the largest carp caught during a recent survey weighing 16.6 pounds. The channel catfish population is improving in the lake. While no channel catfish were caught during a recent survey, they have been stocked by park staff and will hopefully be abundant in the future.
One of the unique features of Lake Patterson is its motorboat access, which can be difficult to find in the region. A boat ramp is available for easy access. You’re also welcome to use non-motor boats in the lake, and kayaking is a popular summer activity. The Preserve does not offer boat rentals, so be sure to track down your own!
At Oakhurst Forest Preserve, the fun doesn’t stop in the winter. The Preserve is open year-round, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy once the weather gets cold. Oakhurst is the only park within the Kane County Forest Preserve District that allows ice skating. Skating is at your own risk, and you must come with your own ice skates and gear. Ice fishing is allowed at Oakhurst as well, meaning you can enjoy fishing at Lake Patterson all year round.
Oakhurst is open for sledding on days where there are at least four inches of snow on the ground. The Preserve has a designated sledding hill, and is a great option for snow days. Enjoy the sledding yourself, or sit in the sheltered areas while your kids play in the snow. If cross-country skiing is more your speed, all of Oakhurst’s trails are open to skiers in the winter. Snowmobiles are not allowed in Oakhurst, so you’ll be able to enjoy the peace and quiet while you explore. If you’d like to use your snowmobile, there are other areas in the Kane County Preserve District for you to do so.
The Forest Preserve District
If you love Oakhurst Forest Preserve, you’ll be excited to learn about the other areas protected by the Kane County Forest Preserve District. This group is dedicated to maintaining and restoring the natural beauty of Kane County. The Preserve District protects over 75 areas throughout the county, and all are yours to explore. Whether you like fishing, camping, horseback riding, or just about any other outdoor activity, there is a place in Kane County for you. All of these green spaces are easily accessible from our apartments in Chicago. Your next adventure is just around the corner!