Sledding, snow tubing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and more available
(Nov. 24, 2020) — 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. 5 – Feb. 28; daily over winter break Dec. 21 – Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 25); Friday, Jan. 15 (Teacher Work Day); Monday, Jan. 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day); Monday, Feb. 15 (President’s Day); and Friday Feb. 26 (Teacher Institute Day).
Inner tube rentals are at the base of the hill and are $10 per tube per day. The hill is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; rentals end at 3:30 p.m.
Visitors can also explore Blackwell and Fullersburg Woods
forest preserves by snowshoes. When there’s plenty of snow on the trails, snowshoe rentals are available at the Blackwell tubing hill (when open) 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Snowshoes can be rented at the Fullersburg Woods office in Oak Brook Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rentals end at 2 p.m.). Call 630-850-8110
To keep everyone safe during the pandemic, the following safety provisions will be followed:
● Participants must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth when interacting with Forest Preserve District staff or other visitors.
● Participants must practice social distancing and stay at least 6 feet away from non-family members.
● Only 25 inner tubes will be allowed on the tubing hill at a time
● Visitors should stay home if they are sick or have been around someone who is sick.
● Tubes and snowshoes will be sanitized between use.
● Only credit card or cash (exact change only) will be accepted for rentals.
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
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 Trail, Bobolink and connector trails north of Mack Road at the McKee Marsh area of Blackwell. 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, blog, Facebook, Twitter
and Instagram pages.