McHenry County Conservation District  •  18410 US Highway 14 •  Woodstock, IL 60098  •  815-338-MCCD(6223)

  Lost Valley Visitor Center


Located in Glacial Park
Route 31 & Harts Road, Ringwood

Building Hours:
Weekdays    8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Weekends    9 a.m.– 4 p.m.


Ph 815.678.4532     

Fax 815.678.4795



Stop by to explore or learn more with these ongoing programs:

Lost Valley Ventures
Family Exploration Programs!
Saturdays from 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Topics will change monthly and include a nature lesson, game, and activity. If the weather allows, we will also go for a short outdoor exploratory hike. No registration required. All ages are welcome. Programs are not intended for group organizations, contact (815) 479-5779 or check out our youth groups brochure for more information.

Lost Valley Visitor Center
Building Tours
By appointment

Learn more about the building's renovation, why the District decided to apply for LEED certification, how we reduced our environmental impact, and what “green” products we chose to use in the renovations. Tours last approximately one hour.   Organized groups are welcome to call (815) 678-4532 to schedule a building tour for their group. Minimum 12 people.


The Lost Valley Visitor Center opened to the public in August 2010. This 28,450 square foot facility will host a number of environmental education programs, workshops, camps and special events. An exhibit room, drop-in library and research library (available by appointment) is open daily. The facility is also a regional center for the study of natural resources, housing under one roof the District’s Land Preservation and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Education Staff, the Research Field Station, the District’s ecological data bases, resource library and map room, Restoration Internship Program and the People and Nature Certificate Program. In addition, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the McHenry County Conservation Foundation have offices in the building.

BrookdaleLocated in the geographic center of the park near the existing trail system, the Lost Valley Visitor Center is perched on the glacial moraine overlooking the Nippersink Creek valley. The visitor center will serve as a central focal point and gateway for a day’s adventure where the natural history of the park and information about the area will be shared with visitors and connect them with the District’s mission.

Glacial Park has long been considered one of the jewels of the county’s open space holdings, characterized by its rolling prairie, wetlands, delta kames, oak savanna and the tranquil presence of Nippersink Creek.  Encompassing 3,200 acres, Glacial Park is the District’s most well known conservation area, visited annually by more than 64,000 individuals. It supports nine miles of snowmobile trails, six miles of hiking trails, and four miles of horse trails, contains a five mile segment of the regional Prairie Trail and offers canoeing and fishing in Nippersink Creek. It contains over 400 acres of dedicated nature preserve; harbors 18 state listed endangered and threatened species; and is listed as one of the top five areas to view migratory wetland birds in the region.

Oaks at Visitor Center

Building a "GREEN" future

The Lost Valley Visitor Center showcases an adaptive reuse of an existing facility, including multiple green technologies which meets the “gold level” of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It is noted for its sustainable architecture which emphasizes in the design and construction a high-performance, sustainable building that minimizes negative environmental impacts.

Learn about the building and site's green renovations in Building a "GREEN" future.




Learn more about the history of the building
and site design.







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