HORSE TRAIL STATUS
Looking for a trail that is close to home? Use our Find a Site page to see different locations on a map, or see more detailed information on each location below.
McHenry County Conservation District offers over 40 miles of horseback riding trails at several sites located throughout the county. Trails may close due to wet conditions in the spring and fall or at any time due to unsafe conditions check out our Closures & Alerts page for trail status updates, or call (815) 338-6223.
Small carriages are permited on the horse trail at Glacial Park, Hickory Grove and Rush Creek. Carriages can be no wider than 5 feet. Carriages must be drawn by a single horse. The District will close the sites to this use should the wheels begin to damage the trail surface.
In the event of a mild winter, the District will keep horse trails open for riding if:
(1) Conditions allow (i.e. dry, firm, no ice conditions on trails, parking lot, or at trail crossings; Note: parking lots will not be plowed.
(2) The forecast shows no winter weather system coming for a week. If a weather system will occur over a weekend or holiday – the trails will close the Friday before or the working day before the holiday and not reopen until the next working day – or when conditions allow.
Open/Closed signs will be posted on site and under Closures and Alerts. Call 815.338.6223 for current conditions. NOTE: When snowmobile trails are open at Glacial Park and Rush Creek, horse trails are closed.
Leafy spurge is an invasive plant species that is toxic to animals and livestock. It produces a milky sap that can cause blistering of the mouth and throat if consumed. Although it is not widespread in our area, it can be seen from early May to October.
This 1.44 mile mowed grass trail loop allows neighborhood access for a total ride of 2.6 miles through the northern section of the site.
The Paulsen Road Entrance offers a horse trailer parking lot for up to 12 trailers and is the closer access point to the new 4 mile multi-purpose trail.
Trails within the park wind 4.78 miles through prairies, past savannas and restored wetlands, then cross the recently re-meandered Nippersink Creek. Trailer parking and trail access is available at the Harts Road parking area (off Route 31 north of McHenry) or at the Equestrian/Snowmobile trailer lot on Keystone Road (north of the District’s Keystone Landing). Restroom facilities available at the Harts Road parking area; a water hand pump is available at the Keystone Road trailer lot.
This 6.31 mile multi use trail is shared with bikers and hikes and runs from Church St. in Hebron eastward through North Branch Conservation Area and links with the Prairie Trail North.
The 3.24 mile trail begins and ends off Hickory Nut Grove Lane and travels the edges of the 400+ acres winding through woodlands. The trail crosses Hickory Nut Grove Road into the Lyons Prairie and Marsh nature preserve section where the trail loops and doubles back. Trailer parking, water and restrooms are available at Hickory Grove Highlands parking area
This 1.3 mile mowed grass trail allows neighborhood access for riding. The mowed grass trail runs north/south from Pleasant Valley Road to Hensel Road.
This trail is a 7.66-mile converted railroad bed — straight and flat — shared with hikers and bicyclists during the summer and closed during the winter for snowmobile season; trails may close at any time due to unsafe conditions. A spur trail connects to the horseback trails within Glacial Park. The trail can be easily accessed from the A couple on horseback enjoying a summer afternoon Harts Road parking area (off Route 31 north of McHenry). Restroom facilities available at the Harts Road parking area.
Easy, beautiful riding through 5.79 miles of woods, open prairie and across the creek. Trailer parking at the equestrian lot only. Hitching posts, water and restroom facilities are available near the parking area.
This 1.26 mile mowed grass trail allows neighborhood access for riding. The trail runs south of Wright Road and loops back around.