FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Sites are open Sunrise to Sunset. Check Closures & Alerts for seasonal, weather-related, and emergency closures.
Building hours vary, view District Facilities for information.
Board meetings are held at Brookdale Administrative Offices, 18410 U.S. Highway 14, in Woodstock, unless otherwise posted. Times and dates may vary. Visit our Board Meetings page.
The Conservation District accepts a number of Green Gifts in the form of cash, land, conservation easement, other direct donations or planned giving. Visit the McHenry County Conservation Foundation website for more details.
Dogs are allowed on District trails and picnic areas on a leash (no longer than 10 feet) at all times. Dogs are not allowed at District special events or programs. For more information about dogs in conservation areas visit our Dog Walking page.
The District does not supply any equipment rentals for canoes, kayaks, cross-country skis, or fishing gear. A number of local businesses rent equipment. View local listings.  The Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park does have snowshoe rentals available when conditions are right. Visit our Winter Activities page for more information.
The District currently does not have an outside group rental program for facilities/rooms.
Permits are required for Individual and Group Camping, exclusive use of Picnic Areas/Shelters, and anytime a group of 16 or more is gathering on a Conservation site. Special Use or Research or Film permits may also be issued. Browse the Permits Page or call (815) 338-6223, ext. 1211 for assistance.
No, we do not trap or remove nuisance wildlife. Wildlife trapping requires a special permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). For more information contact IDNR Region 2 Office, Bartlett: (847) 608-3100.

For helpful tips about preventing nuisance wildlife, check out our Living with Wildlife page.
The University of Illinois Extension Service Master Gardener is an excellent resource for a number of questions regarding ornamental or garden plants, or composting. University of Illinois Extension, 1102 McConnell Road, Woodstock, IL 60098
Phone: (815) 338-3737; dahlfors@illinois.edu
No. Collecting, gathering, picking, damaging or removing mushrooms or any flora or fauna is not allowed at any Conservation Area.
Electric or electric assisted bicycles are allowed but must not exceed a speed limit of 15mph on District trails.
No. Trails within conservation areas are hiking or horseback trails.  Exception: North Branch where the Prairie Trail links with the Hebron Trail. Click here for a list of designated bicycle trails.
Conservation Areas with canoe launches typical open April 1 (weather dependent) and close November 1 or first ice. This refers to Keystone Landing, Pioneer Landing, Lyle C. Thomas and Nippersink Canoe Base. Please also check the site Closures & Alerts page. Click here for more information.
The Conservation District does not have any off leash areas for dogs. Dogs are allowed on all 33 Conservation District trails as long as they are on a leash (no longer than 10 feet).  At this time the District is not pursuing a dog park, however we do direct residents to amenities provided by our local park districts and municipalities such as Crystal Lake Park District Lippold Park, Route 176; Lake in the Hills, 9027 Haligus Road “Bark Park”; McHenry Parks and Recreation Department, Route 31(Richmond Road) & Blake Boulevard “McBark Dog Park” just north of Kohl’s parking lot; Bull Valley/Woodstock, Country Club & Queen Anne Roads “Bull Valley Dog Park”.
Anglers over 16 should carry a valid fishing license and appropriate stamps, such as Inland Trout, at all times while fishing. Licenses may be obtained where sporting goods are sold or online at the IDNR Website.
Anglers are not allowed to use live minnows.

Visit our Fishing page for more information.
The District has a deer and waterfowl hunting program. Information can be found on the District’s Deer and Waterfowl Hunting Pages where answers to a number of frequently asked questions about hunting can be found. 
The Hunter Safety Course is sponsored by the IL Dept. of Natural Resources and is taught by volunteer instructors. View upcoming courses by county, as well as look up a lost safety card online.
Registration is issued through IDNR  WatercraftSnowmobile registration.
Trails open after December 10 and when there is at least 4 inches of snow. A number of snowmobile trails exist on District sites. The McHenry County Snowmobile Association updates trails, provide a county map and offer a trail condition hotline (815) 334-SNOW.
Depends on the type of photos being taken, what they will be used for and how long you will be onsite.  See Permits Page.