Closures & Alerts

Know Before you Go.
Updated 11/25/2020
Closed Nov. 13-Dec. 4- Lost Valley Visitor Center & Prairieview Education Center 
We are following recent guidelines that urge residents to stay home for a three-week time frame in an effort to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.
Cancelled: Roving Naturalist Programs  11/28;    Green Friday Restoration Workdays  11/27

Check for Seasonal Site Closures & Alerts before you head out:
Closed Nov. 1-Jan. 17:
Fox Bluff, High Point, Pioneer Canoe Landing, Community Research Forest, Brookdale-Paulson and Winding Creek [prairie trail loop and early morning lot stay open.]


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.  

CURRENTLY SUSPENDED thru 12/4 - Campgrounds and Picnic Shelter Reservations

All Campgrounds Group camping is staying at the 10 people and under. 
Group Campgrounds are open thru the last Sunday in November. Thomas Woods is open for Winter Camping Dec. - March.
Reservations can be done online 
for exclusive use at discounted rates for families under 10 people.  Visit our Camping page.  

Programs   A variety of programs are being offered online or outside where social distancing can be applied. Registration is required for all participants. Space is limited to allow for physical distancing from other non-family members. Face masks are required during the entire program. Participants are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer. In addition, a number of self-guided programs and activities, as well as E-Learning are available. 

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.


weather & seasonal closures - Many McHenry County Conservation District sites are open year-round for your enjoyment.
However, weather, seaonal closures, or 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  Closures:  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, parking lots, and restrooms will remain closed for the season; but remain open to walk-in traffic for use of the trails during daylight hours.

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: CLOSED
Parking lot: CLOSED
Paulson Road Multi-Use Trail closed Nov. 1-Jan. 17, 2021 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: CLOSED
Parking lot: CLOSED
Trails closed Oct. 1-Jan. 17, 2021 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
Closed Feb. 25-Mar. 19, 2021;  open for 'Festival of the Sugar Maples', March 6 & 7 and 13 & 14, 10am-3pm. 

County Line Road Access
Pedestrian use: CLOSED
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 17, 2021.

Dufield Pond
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: CLOSED
Parking lot: CLOSED
Site closed Nov. 1-Jan. 17, 2021 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

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
Riverfront closed to fishing at first ice.

High Point 
Pedestrian use: CLOSED
Parking lot: CLOSED
Site closed Nov. 1-Jan. 17, 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. 17, 2021 for hunting season.
Site closed Dec. 3-6 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: CLOSED
Closed Nov. 1-Jan. 17, 2021; 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
Site closed Dec. 3-6 for hunting season.

Silver Creek
Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN
*East Trail Loop South of Behan Rd. closed Oct. 1-Jan. 17, 2021 for hunting season.  

Stickney Run
Pedestrian use and parking lot: OPEN

Winding Creek
Early parking & Prairie Loop: OPEN
Wooded Trail: CLOSED
Main Parking: CLOSED
Wooded trail and main parking lot close Nov. 1-Jan. 17, 2021 for hunting season (early parking and prairie loop remain open). Main parking lot remains closed but wooded trail reopens to walk-in traffic after hunting season ends Jan. 17, 2021. 

Updated 11/25/2020

Boone Creek

Horse Trail: OPEN

Brookdale Multi Use
Horse Trail:  CLOSED
Note: C
losed Nov. 1-Jan. 17, 2021 for Hunting

Glacial Park
Horse Trail: CLOSED

Hebron Trail
Horse Trail: OPEN

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

Pleasant Valley
Horse Trail: OPEN

Prairie Trail North
Horse Trail: OPEN

Rush Creek
Horse Trail: CLOSED
Note: Closed Dec. 3-6 for hunting.

Stickney Run
Horse Trail: CLOSED

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: CLOSED 

Hebron Trail
Trail: OPEN  
Note: Trail dead ends at Lange Rd. before un guarded railroad crossing.

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
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
Trail between W Solon south to School Rd. closed Nov. 20-22 for hunting. 
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

COVID UPDATE:  Due to state recommendations, Visitor Centers and offices will be closed to the public beginning Nov. 14 through Dec. 4.

Lost Valley Visitor Center

Open daily 10 a.m.-4:00p.m.
Building Closed Dates:  Nov. 14-Dec. 4, Dec. 24-25, 31; Jan. 1, 2021
Register for a program or event at Lost Valley Visitor Center.


Prairieview Education Center
Monday–Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday Closed
Building Closed Dates:  Nov. 14-Dec. 4, Dec. 24-25, 31; Jan. 1, 2021
Register for a program or event at Prairieview Education Center.


Brookdale Administrative Staff Offices -
Monday-Friday hours vary.
Building Closed Dates:  Nov. 14-Dec. 4, Dec. 24-25, 31.; Jan. 1, 2021