Special Events

Experience McHenry County Conservation District by attending one of our upcoming special events!
Click the months below to reveal the events - updated quarterly. 

In addition to these special events, we also offer other seasonal programs.
Register for a Program

Special Events

Cache Your Way Across McHenry County
Geo-Series: ongoing 
This GeoSeries is specifically designed to turn your next staycation, day trip or geocaching expedition into an extraordinary adventure. Cache Your Way Across McHenry County GeoSeries highlights 15 of the best District spots where gamers will be led along unique trails, under bridges, to historic sites, or in the middle of a majestic oak woodland. At each stop, cachers will be introduced to a variety of interesting facts, fun tidbits, stories, quizzes and a question to answer in your GeoSeries Passport. Those who complete all 15 caches will earn the District’s newest geocoin. A couple of the caches have travel bugs. Please move these bugs along and do not keep them; you will get your own to keep when you successfully complete the tour! Complete all the caches and bring your passport to one of our facilities to claim a coin.  Find more information on our Geocaching page. 

Lost Valley Nature Detectives
Self-guided Explorations
Winter is here. But that's no excuse to stay inside! Check out our E-Learning page  for links to Nature Detectives activities and videos filled with things you can do from home! Stop by Lost Valley Visitor Center for new self-guided fun, puzzels, games and explore the Passport to Adventures exhibit.

Candlelight Ski/Hike
January 14 & 15, 2022 - 5 pm-9 pm
Harrison Benwell Conservation Area

Don't miss your chance to cross-country ski on trails lit only by candlelight! Skiers of every experience level and age are welcome but you must bring your own equipment. Trails will be groomed for skiing if there is 4" of snow or more. Not enough snow? Leave the skis at home and enjoy a candlelight hike. No pets please. More Information.

In Search of Eagles
January 22, 2022 - 8 am-10 am  
Various locations along the Fox River

Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of Hackmatack Wildlife Refuge, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and McHenry County Audubon will be on hand at locations along the Fox River in Illinois and Geneva Lake in Wisconsin to help you search for eagles. There will be scopes and binoculars available for use at each location, along with guided activities for children. Visit the site closest to you or visit them all!
More Information.
Map to Locations.

 

Candlelight Ski/Hike
February 11 & 12  -  5-9 pm
Marengo Ridge Conservation Area

Don't miss your chance to cross-country ski on trails lit only by candlelight! Skiers of every experience level and age are welcome but you must bring your own equipment. Trails will be groomed for skiing if there is 4" of snow or more. Not enough snow? Leave the skis at home and enjoy a candlelight hike. No pets please. More Information.

Eagles of Illinois
February 26 - 11 am-Noon & 1:30-3 pm
Prairieview Education Center

People have been inspired by eagles for centuries. Religions, countries, armies and others have adopted the eagle as their symbol of power. See the power and beauty of these truly magnificent birds of prey when you meet a Bald Eagle and a Golden Eagle. You will also see other birds of prey that are commonly misidentified as eagles. Presented by the Illinois Raptor Center and sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Register.
Festival of the Sugar Maples
March 5, 6, 7 and 12, 13, 14  -  10 am-3 pm
Coral Woods Conservation Area
Please Note: Sign up for a free time slot required.

The flowing of the maple sap is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner! Take this unique opportunity to learn the fascinating history of maple sugaring and the evolution of the sap collection process. Tours last approximately one hour and involve a half-mile hike through a snowy woodland trail. More information.

 

Star Party
Friday, April 8, 2022  -  6-10pm
Coral Woods Conservation Area

Northwest Suburban Astronomer members will be on hand to point out highlight in the night sky as they aim their telescopes at globular and open star clusters in the Milky Way as well as at planetary nebulae and the Andromeda Galaxy. Dress for the weather, bring a flashlight covered with red plastic or cellophane (red light preserves everyone’s night vision), and insect repellent. You are welcome to bring your own telescope or binoculars. NSA members will be happy to provide guidance in their use. 

Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 23, 2022  -  Noon-4pm
Prairieview Education Center

Join us for a celebration of Earth Day! Explore multiple exhibitors, take part in activities and crafts, follow along on guided hikes, and tune in for entertaining puppet shows. Feeling groovy? Stop by for live music from 12:30-2:30pm. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic in the fresh air. 

Weekend of Restoration: Up in the Air
Saturday, April 23, 2022 - 8am-10pm

Sunday, April 24, 2022 - 6am-Noon
Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park

Air is everywhere, from the great spiral storms that surge across continents and seas, to a soft spring breeze, to the inspiration that fills our lungs. We come to the last of the four primordial elements this spring. The final stage in our journey will take us from Ancient Greek philosophy to the modern science of climate change, with stops in poetry and song, the story of life, and the evolution of winged creatures (Did you know there are flying frogs?). Join us this spring, and breathe deep the mystery of air. In conjunction with our learning, we will put our love of nature into practice as we plant native trees and shrubs to restore the land. We will spend most of our time outdoors, so come dressed for the weather. More Information.

Norman and George Powers
Sunday, April 24, 2022 - Noon-4pm
Powers-Walker House, Glacial Park

Come visit this Greek Revival 1854 restored house and learn more about the resident families that called this area home. April's program centers around the Powers family and honoring their military service. Volunteers in historical attire are available to answer your questions. More information. 

Migratory Bird Day
Saturday, April 30, 2022 - 8am-Noon
Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park
Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park

Learn all about birds at this special event. Get your passport stamped as you participate in over a dozen games and activities! More stamps = more prizes, including our ever-popular Audubon plush bird that sings its song when squeezed! Door prizes include binoculars, photo prints, and more.
More information. 

Craft Brew Crawl
May 13, 2022  -  7-9pm
Glacial Park

Join us for a beer-tasting hike through Glacial Park. We will make several stops to taste different micro-brews from local breweries. While you taste your beer we'll share some educational snippets to keep your brain and taste buds invigorated. You must be 21 and present a valid ID to attend this program. More information.

Just Who is Samuel Walker?
May 22, 2022 - Noon-4pm
Powers- Walker House, Glacial Park 

Come visit this Greek Revival 1854 restored house and learn more about the resident families that called this area home. May's program features Samuel Walker, a prominent and influential man who owned the house in the late 1800s. Volunteers in historical attire are available to answer your questions. More information.
Pedal-Paddle-Saddle
June 14, 2022 - Varying Times
Glacial Park

Ready for a day of canoeing, kayaking, biking, or horseback riding? Join us for our annual Pedal-Paddle-Saddle event! 
Pedal - 9:30 am Paddle - 7:30 am Saddle - 9 am
12k, 20k, or 30k 2 hour (6mi) Canoe or Kayak 5.5 mi Trail Ride