Winter in the Preserves

Winter in the Preserves

From snow tubing and trail adventures to ice fishing, sledding and skating, DuPage forest preserves are the perfect way to keep cabin fever at bay.

  • winter-in-preserves-cross-country-skiing.jpg
  • winter-in-preserves-ice-fishing.jpg
  • winter-in-preserves-snowshoeing.jpg
  • winter-in-preserves-tubing.jpg

Cross-Country Skiing

You can ski on most forest preserve trails; when in doubt, always check the specific forest preserve trail map.

Rangers groom over 80 miles as the weather allows. Classic skiers should use the edge of the trails; freestyle skiers should stay in the center.


Ice Fishing

You can ice fish on most forest preserve waters, but rangers do not monitor ice conditions; you go on the ice at your own risk. As a guideline not a guarantee, a minimum of 4 inches of ice is recommended for any activity.

Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois fishing licenses. People fishing for trout need inland trout stamps, too. Both are available at local retailers and at Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For links to complete Forest Preserve District rules and regulations (including creel limits), depth maps and more, visit fishing.

Snow Tubing

You can take a thrilling 800-foot ride down Mount Hoy at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville when 3 or more inches of snow covers the hill.

You can only use Forest Preserve District inner tubes on Mount Hoy, but you can rent them weekends and school holidays December – February at the base of the hill.

2018 – 2019 Dates
Mount Hoy opens on the dates below only if there’s plenty of snow on the hill, usually 3 or more inches.

Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 2 – Feb. 25 
Plus Dec. 26 – 29, Jan. 1 – 5, 15 and 22, and Feb. 19
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Rentals end at 3:30 p.m.)

Only District tubes are allowed.
Rubber inner tube $5 per day
Tube with nylon cover $7 per day


Explore the preserves by snowshoes! Rentals are $10 for two hours or $15 for the day and are only available when there's plenty of snow on the trails. If you don’t have a pair you can rent one from us at Blackwell, Fullersburg Woods and District headquarters at Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton

2017 – 2018 Dates
When Mount Hoy is open (see snow tubing information), snowshoe rentals are available at the base until 2 p.m. On weekdays when Mount Hoy isn't open, rent snowshoes at Forest Preserve District headquarters 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at  630-933-7248. Call first for availability.

You can also rent daily 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center. Call 630-850-8110 for availability.


Sledding & Skating

You can sled and skate at most forest preserves, but rangers do not monitor conditions, so you do so at your own risk. As a guideline not a guarantee, a minimum of 4 inches of ice is recommended for any ice activity.

Sledding, though, is always prohibited at Mount Hoy at Blackwell, the closed landfill sites at Greene Valley and Mallard Lake, and any slopes at Spring Creek Reservoir.


Dog Sledding

If there’s plenty of snow you can “gee” and “haw” on the Regional, Bobolink and connector trails through the McKee Marsh area north of Mack Road at Blackwell and the Thunderbird Spur Trail, which begins at the parking lot on Thunderbird Road, at Greene Valley.

During the rest of the year, you can use wheeled carts under 4 feet wide on any trails that allow biking.

For the safety of other visitors and to protect the forest preserves’ natural areas, remain on the trails and travel in a controlled, safe manner.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!

Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit