Mallard Lake has 4 miles of trails, including a 2.5-mile trail system with a boardwalk that is ideal for birdwatching. It winds around the lake and over two bridges and connects to Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve, the North Central DuPage Regional Trail and the Bartlett Park District trail system.
Mallard Lake has dozens of picnic tables and grassy areas where you can spread a blanket. Ground fires are not allowed, but you can bring grills. (The preserve has hot-coal containers for charcoal.)
Groups can also reserve the 50-person picnic shelter. Details are on our Picnicking page.
Fish for largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, crappie, northern pike, and muskie at the 85-acre Mallard Lake, or try your luck along the West Branch DuPage River or at the 9-acre Cloverdale Pond.
Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois fishing licenses. Lake maps and regulations, including creel limits and minimum lengths, are on our Fishing page.
Notice — The Forest Preserve District has found nonnative, invasive zebra mussels at Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve. You can help stop their spread no matter where you fish.
- Remove all plants, animals and mud from boats, equipment and trailers.
- Drain all water from your boat and gear and dry everything thoroughly with a towel.
- Empty all bait buckets in garbage cans or dumpsters before leaving the lake. (You can't see juvenile zebra mussles with the naked eye.)
Explore Mallard Lake in your canoe, kayak or other select nongasoline-powered watercraft but need to have a Forest Preserve District permit in your possession.
Mallard Lake Forest Preserve is located on the Valparaiso Moraine, a ridgeline left behind by the Wisconsin Glacier’s retreat into Lake Michigan 10,000 years ago. During the 1950s, gravel and peat were mined from the area. In 1956, the District received a 111-acre land donation at the site to create Mallard Lake. During the 1960s, the District purchased several large areas to increase the preserve’s size.
In 1974, DuPage County’s need for solid-waste disposal prompted the District to establish a landfill at the forest preserve. Landfill operations at the site ceased in 1999.