One of the oldest forest preserves in DuPage County, Maple Grove is the largest remaining remnant of the vast maple forest that became Downers Grove. Because less than 0.5 percent of Illinois’ natural areas are intact today, Maple Grove is both a rare historic forest and a valuable natural area. The preserve is categorized as a “globally endangered ecosystem” by ecologists.
The preserve’s remnant black maple savanna and upland maple forest communities host hundreds of plant species, some of which are threatened or endangered. Spring is an especially wonderful time at Maple Grove, with carpets of trillium, buttercups and wild geraniums blooming throughout the forest. In fall, the preserve’s woodlands put on a spectacular color show, and are home to a variety of birds, from indigo buntings to great horned owls. The preserve is also a migratory bird stopover.