MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — The Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet is getting $100,000 dollars for an upgrade. The state grant will be used to improve a portion of the bike trail.

The bike trail was built in 1996. This is a project the Champaign County Forest Preserve District started in 2021. Officials say money ran out, so this new grant is helping them pick it back up.
This section of the bike trail at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet, near mile marker 2.1, will soon look brand new.

The $100,000 grant is coming from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the Bicycle Path Program.

“The project is for the renovation of a half-mile of existing 10-foot-wide asphalt bike path here in the Woods Forest Preserve,” said Ryan Anderson, Grant and Development Officer with the Forest Preserve District.

Anderson said this project will take a long time to complete because it requires a lot of money.

“We are doing this project now because we were able to receive help with that funding. But we will also require public funding from private donors. So we’ll be working with the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation to raise money.”

The bike trail stretches a total of 3.3 miles.

“The majority of the project is going to be bringing the bike path up to a newer condition so that it’s more usable for our visitors,” Anderson said.

Many people walk the trails all day long, such as Tom Galyen. He said he’s happy to see the Forest Preserve District keeping it a place for people to enjoy nature.

“Things deteriorate, and this is a beautiful park. So I mean, maintenance and renovation is just part of the up-keep of it,” Galyen said.

Anderson said the renovations should be completed sometime next year.