Located in Glacial Park,
Route 31 & Harts Road
Weekdays 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Weekends 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.
Open Daily 8 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Stop by to explore or learn more with these ongoing programs:
Lost Valley Ventures
Lost Valley Visitor Center
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 Natural Resource Management Department and Environmental Education Staff; the Research Field Station; the District’s ecological data bases, resource library and map room; Restoration Internship Program and the Ecological Restoration Certificate Program. In addition, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the McHenry County Conservation Foundation have offices in the building.
Located 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.
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.
To learn more about the history of the building and site design, click here.