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Our Work

McCormick Ravine

Lake Forest Open Lands


Lake Forest, Illinois


Land Trust



  • Assessed existing trail
  • Assessed proposed new trail
  • Preliminary Opinion of Cost
  • Trail design and plan documentation
  • Structural design


  • Highly sensitive site
  • Aggregate trails
  • Boardwalk
  • Suspension bridge


The existing master plan for McCormick Ravine identified three trails (1.2 linear miles total) on a 60-acre suburban site, designed to facilitate three different user experiences while protecting the unique native plant communities and ravine ecosystem on the site. The site contains parcels owned by a local land trust, as well as the City of Lake Forest, with oversight required by the Army Corps of Engineers and Lake County. Working with base information from the client-selected engineering firm, Penn Trails analyzed and adjusted the proposed corridor through extensive site work. GPS data collected on-site was used to create a Phase I conceptual design detailing the three trails and their segment design. This project is currently in progress, and once a project budget is calculated based on the Phase I design, Penn Trails will prepare a plan set and bid documents for review by the client engineer and for use by the client. McCormick Ravine exemplifies Penn Trails’ approach to a Phase I conceptual plan and POC for a class 2-4 trail within a narrow riparian corridor, as well as cooperation with a client-selected engineering firm and non-profit and government project partners.