Closures & Alerts

July 1, 2020 Update -  Covid-19 Impact:
Sites & Trails 
Conservation District sites and trails are open as long as the rules contained in the Governor’s Executive Order are followed including all social distancing and gathering requirements. Site restrooms/pit toilets are open.  

Visitor Centers  
Lost Valley Visitor Center and Prairieview Education Center are now open for restroom use and quick in/out pickup/dropoff of materials or items. Face coverings are required.

All Campgrounds 
Reopened June 12 - reservations begin June 1 for exclusive use at discounted rates for families under 10 people. 
Visit our Camping page.  Group camping is staying at the 10 people and under.

Picnic Shelters  
Reservations are now being taken for picnic shelters, but the group size is limited to 10 and under.  We are not increasing that number. 

Help Keep Our Sites Open:
Residents  are encouraged to visit less frequented conservation areas and delay a visit when a parking area is 50% filled. 
The District will monitor attendance and close conservation areas if it appears that public health goals for increased physical distancing are being impacted. 
The District strongly encourages visitors to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use when visiting all conservation areas.


Many McHenry County Conservation District sites are open year-round for your enjoyment.
However, weather and safety concerns often dictate the closing of certain sites, trails, and launches. 

Check current conditions and status updates prior to your adventure: 

Site Closures (Weather-Related, Special Circumstances, and Seasonal Closures)
Bike Trails
Canoe/Kayak Launch Status
Cross-Country Ski Trail Status
Facilities
Horse Trail Status

Winter and Seasonal Closures: Some sites close beginning in October, and most sites reopen April 1 or earlier, depending on weather. The parking lots of select sites will close with 2″ of snowfall; but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic. Additionally, some sites or portions of sites may close for short periods of time for hunting. Please be aware of these closures. 

Status and Conditions

Beck's Woods
Main Entrance
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot:  OPEN

Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.
Piscasaw North
Pedestrian use:  OPEN
Parking lot:  OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.
 
Boger Bog
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Boone Creek
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Brookdale
Rt. 14 Entrance
West side trails: OPEN
Main parking lot: OPEN
Paulson Road Entrance
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Paulson Road Multi-Use Trail closed Nov. 1-Jan. 19, 2020 for Hunting. Parking lot remains closed; trail reopens to walk-in traffic after hunting season. 
Paulson Road Entrance Parking lot closes with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Community Research Forest
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Trails closed Oct. 1-Jan. 19, 2020 for hunting season.
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Coral Woods
Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN

County Line Road Access
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Trails close October 1. Parking lot remains open for canoe launch access and may close as weather conditions dictate. Site reopens to walk-in traffic after hunting season ends January 19, 2020.


Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lot closes with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.
North Entrance
Parking lot and pond: OPEN
North Parking Lot & Pond close at first ice and stay closed for the season.

Elizabeth Lake Varga Archaeological Site
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN

Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Exner Marsh
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Fel-Pro RRR
Pedestrian use and parking lots: OPEN

Fox Bluff
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Site closes Nov. 1-Jan. 19, 2020 for hunting season. Parking lots remain closed but trail reopens to walk-in traffic after hunting season ends. 

Glacial Park
Pedestrian use and parking lots: OPEN
Site closes Dec. 5-8, 2020 for hunting. Lost Valley Visitor Center & Prairie Trail (W Solon south to School Rd.) are also closed during that time.

Harrison Benwell
Pedestrian use and parking lots: OPEN

Hickory Grove and Lyons Prairie & Marsh
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Highlands and Lyons Parking Lots: OPEN
Riverfront Parking Lot: OPEN
Site closes Nov 1-3 and Nov. 8-10, 2020 for hunting. Campgrounds are closed during this time. 
Riverfront closed to fishing at first ice.


High Point 
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Site closes Nov. 1-Jan. 19, 2020 for hunting season. Parking lots remain closed but trail reopens to walk-in traffic after hunting season ends. 

The Hollows
Main
Pedestrian use: OPEN  
Parking lot: OPEN  
Lake Atwood
Parking lot:  OPEN

Keystone Landing
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN

Kishwaukee Headwaters
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Lake in the Hills Fen
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Lyle C. Thomas Memorial Park
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close at first significant snowfall; site remains open for pedestrian traffic.

Marengo Ridge
Pedestrian and parking lot: OPEN 
Kelly Hertel Nature Trail closed Oct. 1-Jan. 19, 2020 for hunting season.
Site closed Nov. 22-24, 2020 for hunting season.

Nippersink Canoe Base
Pedestrian and parking lot: OPEN
As conditions dictate (ice formation and/or cold temperatures).

North Branch
Pedestrian use: OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Pioneer Canoe Landing
Pedestrian and parking lot: OPEN
Closes Nov. 1-Jan. 19, 2020; then as conditions dictate (ice formation and/or cold temperatures).

Pleasant Valley
Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN

Rush Creek

Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN

Silver Creek
Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN
Site closes Nov. 1-3 and Nov. 8-10, 2020 for hunting. 

Stickney Run
Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN
Site closes Nov. 1-3 and Nov. 8-10, 2020 for hunting. 

Winding Creek
Early parking & Prairie Loop: OPEN
Wooded Trail: OPEN
Main Parking: OPEN
Wooded trail and main parking lot close Nov. 1-Jan. 19, 2020 for hunting season (but early parking and the prairie loop remain open). Main parking lot remains closed but wooded trail reopens to walk-in traffic after hunting season ends. 

Updated 6/19/20

Boone Creek

Horse Trail: OPEN

Brookdale Multi Use
Horse Trail: OPEN*  - *Back loop still closed

Glacial Park
Horse Trail: OPEN

Hebron Trail
Horse Trail: OPEN

Hickory Grove Highlands & Lyons Prairie & Marsh
Horse Trail: OPEN

Pleasant Valley
Horse Trail: OPEN

Prairie Trail North
Horse Trail: OPEN

Rush Creek
Horse Trail: OPEN

Stickney Run
Horse Trail: OPEN

Glacial Park
Condition: POOR

Harrison Benwell
Condition: POOR

Hickory Grove 
Condition: POOR

The Hollows
Condition: POOR

Lyons Prairie & Marsh
Condition: POOR

Marengo Ridge
Condition: POOR

Pleasant Valley
Condition: POOR

Prairieview
Condition: POOR

Rush Creek
Condition: POOR

Silver Creek (Skate Ski)
Condition: POOR


Attention Paddlers: Nippersink Creek has a known, large blockage extending from creek bank to creek bank between Lyle C Thomas Park in Spring Grove and Nippersink Canoe Base near Spring Grove. Be aware, downed trees or river debris can occur at anytime along the entire route and we cannot provide updated conditions. The District does not remove obstacles on/along private property.

Keystone Landing

Launch: OPEN

Lyle C. Thomas
Launch: OPEN

Nippersink Canoe Base
Launch: OPEN

Pioneer Canoe Landing
Launch: OPEN

Hebron Trail
Trail: OPEN

H.U.M. Trail

Trail:  OPEN
Parking lot: OPEN

Parking lots close with 2″ of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic.

The Prairie Trail
Construction & Detours: 
 
April - July 2020: Algonquin Trail & Bridge Construction 
 Updates  /  Detour Map
April - November 2020: Downtown Crystal Lake at Main St. (during roadway reconstruction) Updates   /  Detour Map 

Trail: OPEN
Hillside parking lot:  OPEN
Main street north parking lot: OPEN
Main street south parking lot: OPEN
Meyer Drive parking lot: OPEN
Parking lots close with 2" of snowfall, but remain open to walk-in traffic. If the weather becomes mild, gates and parking lots will re-open. However, after Jan. 2 AND a significant snowfall, gates and parking lots will close for the season, but remain open to walk-in traffic.

Ridgefield Trace
Trail: OPEN

Stone Mill Trail
Trail: OPEN

**Lost Valley Visitor Center and Prairieview Education Center Closed to Drop-In Visitors Until Further Notice Due to Public Health Concerns**

Lost Valley Visitor Center

Open daily April-October from 9a.m.-5:30p.m.
Open daily November-March from 9a.m.-4p.m.
2020 Closures: May 25, July 4, September 7, November 11, November 26-27, December 24-25, December 31.

Prairieview Education Center
Open Monday-Friday, 9a.m.-5p.m.
Saturday, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
2020 Closures: May 25, July 4, September 7, November 11, November 26-27, December 24-25, December 31.

Brookdale Administrative Offices
Open Monday-Friday, 8a.m.-4:30p.m. 
2020 Closures: May 25, July 4, September 7, November 11, November 26-27, December 24-25, December 31.