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DuPage River Path To Connect Counties; Towns

Once complete, the path that goes through Joliet will connect to DuPage County on the north and Channahon on the south.

Residents might have noticed the work that is going on in the empty space across from Hammel Woods on Black Road in Joliet. The work is a one-mile extention to the DuPage River Trail.

"We aquired the property and we are extending the trail one mile north to connect with the trail that is already in place," Bruce Hodgdon, spokesperson said.

But, when the trail is completed, it will be much larger. Eventually, the DuPage River trail will expand from Will County north to link up with trails in DuPage County. To the south, it will extend to .

"Originally, it was envisioned to run down to , but then it was possibly to run to Channahon," Hodgdon said.

The completion of the trail is many years in the future, but officials in Shorewood have the trail in their comprehensive plan.

"The goal of the village is to really take the riverfront and make it more of a recreational park space," Kimberly Jones, Shorewood Community Development Director said. "The goal would be then to eventually take where (the forest preserve) stops the path and to take it westerly under Route 59 to West Shore Drive (and) link up to ."

The path will be the responsibility of a number of juristictions. In Shorewood, for example, portions of the trail will be the responsibility of the village and portions will be the shared responsibility of the village and the district.

In Channahon, the path is not quite as clear and it will be some time before the trail is extended that far south.

"It's way in the planning stages," Michael McMahon, Channahon Director of Community Development said. "They had an idea to bring the trail through and connect with the I & M."

Like Shorewood, Channahon has a trail in their comprehensive plan as well. That trail would go down Shepley Road and behind Riverside Industrial Park to continue down to the I & M canal. Whether the DuPage River Trail will follow that same line or be a second trail in the village is unclear.

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