Captain Daniel Wright Woods

24830 St. Mary's Road
Mettawa,IL 60045
750 acres
6:30 am to sunset, daily.

Captain Daniel Wright Woods

This peaceful oasis among the bustling suburbs offers 4 miles of scenic trails: a short loop for hikers, bicyclists and skiers that circles a pond, and a 3-mile loop for hikers, bicyclists, skiers and horses. Please keep dogs leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Learn about our Off-Leash Dog Areas (permit required). A wheelchair accessible fishing pier provides easy access to a 3-acre man-made pond. 

A footbridge spanning the Des Plaines River links Wright Woods to Half Day Forest Preserve. Together they offer some of southern Lake County's most scenic outdoor recreation opportunities. Facilities at the more fragile Wright Woods are best suited for small groups, while those at Half Day are designed for gatherings both large and small.

The Des Plaines River Trail passes through both preserves. Its gravel base is perfect for hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers.

The Adlai E. Stevenson Historic Home is part of Wright Woods with separate parking available off of Saint Mary's Road just north of the preserve's main entrance. The home was built in 1938 by Adlai Stevenson and his wife, Ellen Borden. The estate is a designated Illinois Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds are open daily for self-guided tours. Guided tours also available. Interpretive signs provide historical information about the site. 



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More About This Preserve

The Natural Scene

Captain Daniel Wright Woods provides the opportunity to see the powerful effects of water and fire. Prior to settlement by Europeans, wildfires regularly swept eastward across Lake County, only to be stopped by the Des Plaines River. Situated just east of the river, Wright Woods supports a rich oak and maple woodland that sometimes develops in less frequently burned areas. With large stands of maples found at few other places in Lake County, Wright Woods is a great place to view autumn colors.

In spring, the bridge between Half Day and Wright Woods is a popular place to spot migrating songbirds like the yellow-throated warbler or Baltimore oriole. Later in the summer, look for nesting field birds in the restored prairie. Eastern bluebirds, tree swallows and red-tailed hawks are commonly seen here.


Wright Woods was named for one of Lake County’s first settlers, Captain Daniel Wright. In the early 1960s, these acres were some of the first acquired. In 2004, the 168-acre Lloyd's Woods addition to Wright Woods expanded the preserve to its current 750 acres.


The entrance is at the intersection of St. Mary’s and Everett Roads, south of Route 60.

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