Embrace Winter with Flurry of Outdoor Fun in DuPage Forest Preserves

News Release


Embrace Winter with Flurry of Outdoor Fun in DuPage Forest Preserves

Sledding, snow tubing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and more available

(Nov. 26, 2019) — Find the sure cure for cabin fever in DuPage forest preserves, which offer residents plenty of reasons to get outside and play this winter.

When there’s plenty of packed 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. Only District inner tubes are allowed.

If conditions allow, the hill is open Saturdays and Sundays Dec. 7 – Feb. 23; daily over winter break Dec. 23 – Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 25); Friday, Jan. 17 (Teacher Work Day); Monday, Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day); and Monday, Feb.17 (President’s Day).

Inner tube rentals are at the base of the hill and are $10 per tube per day. The tubing hill is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; rentals end at 3:30 p.m.

Visitors can also explore the forest preserves by snowshoes. When there’s plenty of snow on the trails, snowshoe rentals are available at three forest preserves December – February for $10 for two hours or $15 for the day.

Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville at the tubing hill (when open) 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

● Forest Preserve District headquarters at Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rentals end at 2 p.m.). Call 630-933-7248 for availability.

Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 4 p.m. (rentals end at 2 p.m.). Call 630-850-8110 for availability.

Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago is also hosting “Farm Life in Winter” Thursday – Monday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 2 – Feb. 29 with different activities every day. Visitors may be able to harvest ice on Timber Lake, check for new lambs, watch tool repairs in the wagon shed, or enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride around the farm when there is at least 4 inches of packed snow. Rides are $5 per person ages 5 and up, and adults must accompany children under 13. Call 630-876-5900 or check Kline Creek Farm’s Facebook page for each day’s activity. Starting Jan. 1, Kline Creek Farm will be asking for a suggested admission donation of $5 per person for ages 3 and up (under 3 free).

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 Forest Preserve 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 for one person; 8 inches of clear ice for a group. Anglers can find complete regulations in the fishing guide (PDF).

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. Subscribe online or by emailing 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, 166 miles of trails, six 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, blogFacebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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