DuPage Forest Preserves Offer Flurry of Winter Fun

News Release

DuPage Forest Preserves Offer a Flurry of Winter Fun

Sledding, Snow Tubing, Ice Fishing, Cross-Country Skiing and More

(Nov. 29, 2017) — From ice fishing to snowshoeing to cross-country skiing, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County gives residents plenty of reasons to get outside and play this winter.

“The forest preserves take on a quiet beauty in the winter, and we’ve got a lot of great ways to enjoy the snow-covered scenery,” said Forest Preserve District Commissioner Marsha Murphy, District 1.

“We provide a sure cure for cabin fever and help you connect to nature year-round,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore.

When there’s plenty of snow on the hill (usually more than 3 inches), thrill-seekers can snow tube down the 800-foot run on Mount Hoy at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville. The rental area is open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekends Dec. 2 – Feb. 25 plus Dec. 26 – 29, Jan. 1 – 5, 15 and 22, and Feb. 19. Inner tube rentals are $5 per day ($7 for nylon tubes) and end at 3:30 p.m. Only District tubes are allowed.

Visitors can also explore the forest preserves with rented snowshoes. Rentals are $8 for two hours or $13 per day and are available when there’s ample snow on the trails.

● When Mount Hoy’s open, rentals are available at the base of the hill until 2 p.m.

● On weekdays when Mount Hoy isn’t open, rentals are available 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the west sector office on Mack Road. Call 630-876-5931 for availability.

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

At Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, visitors can enjoy 20-minute horse-drawn sleigh rides Dec. 21 – 23 and Jan. 4 – 6 at 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. Rides are on a first-come, first-served basis and use wagons if there’s not ample snow on the trails. Rides are $5 per person ages 5 and up and are free for kids under 5. Children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is not required, and the District will cancel rides if there’s severe weather. For trail conditions or to arrange for private group rides, call 630-876-5900.

For fans of cross-country skiing, rangers groom more than 70 miles of trails at forest preserves such as Blackwell in Warrenville, Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook, Danada and Herrick Lake in Wheaton, Greene Valley and Springbrook Prairie in Naperville, Mallard Lake in Hanover Park, Meacham Grove in Bloomingdale, Waterfall Glen in Darien and West DuPage Woods in West Chicago. Visitors who aren’t classic skiers should use the inside of the trails to avoid damaging the set tracks.

Ice fishing, ice skating and sledding are allowed at most forest preserves, although never at Spring Creek Reservoir in Bloomingdale. Additionally, sledding is not allowed at Mount Hoy at Blackwell or at the closed landfill sites at Greene Valley and Mallard Lake. The District does not monitor ice conditions, so visitors go on ice at their own risk. As a guideline not a guarantee, there should be at least 4 inches of clear ice for any activity. Anglers can find complete regulations in the online fishing guide.

Finally, when there’s adequate snow conditions, mushers can dog sled on the Thunderbird Spur Trail at Greene Valley and on the West Branch Regional, Bobolink and connector trails north of Mack Road at the McKee Marsh area of Blackwell.

A complete list of winter programs and activities is available on the District’s website or in the quarterly Conservationist. Print subscriptions are free for DuPage County residents and $5 per year for nonresidents; email subscriptions are free for all readers. To subscribe, call 630-933-7085 or email forest@dupageforest.org.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.


The Forest Preserve District offers a monthly e-newsletter that includes timely information about projects, programs and events in our DuPage forest preserves. Subscribe to our e-newsletter, and get the latest nature news straight to your inbox.