Cold weather is officially here. Take advantage of the winter season by exploring the vast outdoor adventures McHenry County has to offer. Whether it’s sledding with the family, ice fishing with friends, or hiking a candlelight trail there are winter activities and outdoor recreation for everyone. 

Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing & Winter Hiking

The McHenry County Conservation District offers two weekends of candlelight cross-country skiing and hiking. January 13 & 14th you can explore Rush Creek Conservation Area by candlelight and February 10 & 11 at Prairieview Education Center. All experience levels are welcome, and you can visit the campfire to warm up before you leave! 

Cold weather hiking enthusiasts can take advantage of solar lit trails as well at Pleasant Valley and Hickory Grove Highlands November through March.

Need snowshoeing gear? Glacial Park has a rental service so you can give this winter sport a try!

**Please note that most hiking trails are also cross-country ski trails, so please walk on the outside of the ski tracks when visiting**

Stickney Run | 3216 State Park Rd, McHenry

Silver Creek | 1009 Rawson Bridge Rd, Cary

Rush Creek | 20501 McGuire Rd, Harvard

Prairieview Education Center | 2112 Behan Rd, Crystal Lake

Prairie Trail North | Route 176 – Barnard Mill Rd.

Prairie Trail South | Pyott Rd. to County Line

Pleasant Valley | 13119 Pleasant Valley Rd, Woodstock

Marengo Ridge | 2411 N, IL-23, Marengo

Lake in the Hills Fen (Walk-in only) | 1500 Jefferson St., Lake in the Hills

The Hollows | 3804 US-14, Cary

Hickory Grove/Lyons Prarie Marsh | 500 Hickory Nut Grove Ln, Cary

Harrison Benwell | 7055 McCullom Lake Rd, Wonder Lake

Glacial Park | 6705 State Route 31, Ringwood

Fel-Pro RRR | 1520 Crystal Lake Rd, Cary

Exner Marsh (Walk-in only) | 9000 N. Lakewood Rd, Lake in the Hills

Coral Woods | 7400 Somerset Dr, Marengo

Brookdale | 2105 Paulsen Rd, Woodstock


Looking for outdoor recreation for the whole family? You’re in luck! Sledding hills are scattered throughout McHenry County and are filled with families in the winter season. So bundle up, grab your sled, and start exploring! 

If you are looking for more extreme winter sledding, visit Wilmot Mountain’s tubing hill. This is one epic outdoor adventure. Check out the video below for a quick preview:

Wilmot Tubing | 12301 Fox River Rd, Wilmot WI
  - Tickets are required for tubing, please visit their website for more details and hours!

Glacial Park | 6313 Harts Road, Ringwood

Albert A. Adams Park | 3703 N. Richmond Rd, McHenry

Veteran Acres | 431 Walkup Rd, Crystal Lake

Butternut Preserve | 540 Ballard Rd, Crystal Lake

Four Colonies Park | 925 Sarasota Lane, Crystal Lake

Three Oaks Recreation Area | 5517 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake

Indian Prairie Park | 600 Miller Road, Crystal Lake

Lions Park | 1200 Silver Lake Road, Cary

Braewood Park | 1001 Gaslight Dr, Algonquin

High Hill Park and Nature Preserve | 501 Kirkland, Algonquin

Spella Park | 2610 Harnish Drive, Algonquin

Deicke Park | 11419 S. Rt 47, Huntley

Emricson Park | 900 West South St., Woodstock

Ice fishing

** Only available when there if 4” or more of clear ice present **

Winter anglers rejoice! McHenry County is filled with lakes perfect for ice fishing. In our lakes you can find bluegill, largemouth bass, norther pike, walleye, white crappie and yellow perch. 

The Hollows | 3804 US-14, Crystal Lake

Woods Creek Lake | 149 Hilltop Dr, Lake in the Hills

Wonder Lake | 4200 Thompson Rd, Wonder Lake

Crystal Lake | 300 Lakeshore Dr, Crystal Lake

Elizabeth Lake | 11000 Lakeview Dr, Richmond

Pistakee Bay | 801 Oak Grove Rd, Johnsburg