Black Partridge Woods Nature Preserve Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lemont, Illinois that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
cross country skiing
Named for the Potawatomi Indian chief Black Partridge, who traveled through the Chicago Wilderness region into central Illinois, this area was dedicated as the second nature preserve in Illinois in 1965 in order to protect its spring-fed stream. Crossing many steep and winding ravines, the trails at Black Partridge are challenging by most standards, but the residents here don't seem to mind. Visitors can see snakes, such as the northern water snake, coiling in between rocks along stream banks, American toads hopping along trails, and downy woodpeckers making forest music and finding lunch. Black Partridge is not a frequently visited preserve, and the surrounding area is largely wooded, so deer encountering humans huff and buck, a rare sight for those used to deer more accustomed to humans. Just outside the 80-acre preserve, wetland lovers can find a small fen by heading east on Bluff Rd. toward Lemont Rd. If you park along the side of the road at the S curve, you can find a fen 50 feet from the banks of the Des Plaines River. Created by spring water percolating through limestone, the water here is much more basic (alkaline) than other wetlands. This small fen community harbors plants such as turtlehead, prairie cord grass, and more.