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
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
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 email@example.com
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.