Winter Activities


With winter comes more recreation opportunities not available in other seasons. Here are a few ways to explore McHenry County Conservation District sites during winter months. 


Call The Snowmobile Hotline For County Snowmobile Trail Updates & Classes: 815-334-SNOW.   2/6/2023 CLOSED

McHenry County snowmobile trails do not open until December 10th, even if there is snow before this date.  Snowmobile trails open when there is at Least 4″ of snow fall on frozen round; or 6″ of snow on unfrozen ground.  The Conservation District has over 17 Miles of Snowmobile Trails In Glacial Park and along the Prairie Trail that connect with numerous county trails.

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Cross-Country Skiing and Skate Skiing
Once there is 4 inches of snow, outdoor enthusiasts can glide over 40 miles of cross-country ski trails at 16 different sites throughout the county. Looking to try something new? What about skate skiing? The District offers a skate ski trail at Silver Creek Conservation Area in Cary. A skate ski trail differs from a traditional cross- country ski trail by being packed, but not tracked. 

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2/6/2023 CLOSED
Grab your favorite tube, saucer or sled for some good old-fashioned sledding fun where laughter is abundant. The sled hill at Glacial Park (by the Wiedrich Barn amphitheater) is open when there is 4″ of snow or more and is perfect for an afternoon of free, unsupervised snow play.

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Snow Shoe Rental
Don't forget, you can also snow shoe on our hiking trails! Don't own a pair? That's okay! Once there is 5″ of snow or more rent a pair of snowshoes from Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park.  Rentals cost $10 all day. Drivers’ license and $20 cash deposit required. Rental Hours:  Currently 10 a.m. with last rental at 2:30 p.m. - building closes at 4 p.m.) Men’s, women’s, and children sizes available; first-come, first-served.  For info call (815) 338-6223.

Solar Lit Trails - Hike or Ski    November 6, 2022 - March 12, 2023
With the sun going down so early, you can still get out on the trails everyday after dark. The District has two sites open late for hiking or cross-country skiing when the conditions are right (Pleasant Valley and Hickory Grove Highlands).  

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Ice Fishing
Lake Atwood at The Hollows is open for ice fishing when conditions are right! Remember to stay off ice that is less than 4 inches thick. 

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