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 weekends Dec. 4 – Feb. 27 (closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1) plus Dec. 20 – 24, Dec. 27 – 31, Jan. 17 and Jan. 21, and Feb. 21. 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 snowshoe. 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 also be rented at the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rentals end at 2 p.m.). Rentals are $10 for two hours or $15 for the day. Call 630-850-8100
In accordance with Restore Illinois guidelines, participants should consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities that involve close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
For fans of cross-country skiing, rangers groom more than 50 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, and Waterfall Glen
in Darien. Visitors who aren’t classic skiers should use the inside of the rails 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 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 and 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 6.2 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.