After the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier, the land that is now Herrick Lake Forest Preserve grew into prairies with scattered woodlands. For thousands of years, different groups of indigenous people passed through the area, some to hunt and move on, others to settle for various periods of time. The last of these groups to call this land home was the Potawatomi, who had settled in the area by the late 1600s. Their well-traveled trails served as the basis for Butterfield and Warrenville roads.
Herrick Lake is home to an impressive variety of wildlife. Ecologists have recorded more than 254 types of year-round and migrating wildlife among the preserve’s 470 different types of plants.
In the mature upland woods, stately 150-year-old white, red and bur oaks provide habitat for animals like woodpeckers, squirrels and owls.
Hikers, bicyclers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers can enjoy more than 7 miles of trails, including a section of nationally designated Danada-Herrick Lake Regional Trail. A path around the lake connects both parking lots to the picnic grounds and the trailhead, and additional trails cut through central and southern parts of the preserve.