Winter in the Preserves

Winter in the Preserves

From snow tubing and trail adventures to ice fishing, sledding and skating, DuPage forest preserves are the perfect way to keep cabin fever at bay.

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Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is an excellent way to get some exercise, and you can ski on most forest preserve trails. Rangers groom over 80 miles when weather allows. If you're a classic skier, use the edge of the trail. Freestyle skiers and other visitors should stay in the center and avoid stepping on set tracks. Maps are available on our forest preserve pages. For the latest trail grooming updates, please check our @dupageforesttrails Facebook page.

Read more about how our crews maintain the forest preserves — including plowing and trail grooming — in winter.

Read More


Ice Fishing

You can ice fish on most forest preserve waters, but rangers do not monitor ice conditions; you go on the ice at your own risk. As a guideline not a guarantee, a minimum of 4 inches of ice is recommended for any activity.

Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry a valid Illinois fishing license (an inland trout stamp, too, if you're fishing for trout). Both are available at local retailers and at Visitor Services at 630-933-7248.

Forest Preserve District regulations, depth maps and creel limits are available on our fishing page.

Snow Tubing

Take a thrilling 800-foot ride down the Mount Hoy tubing hill at Blackwell Forest Preserve. It's open on weekends and school holidays when there's plenty of snow (usually more than 3 inches). Hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and rentals end at 3:30 p.m., although the hill may close early due to extreme cold or severe weather. Inner tube rentals are at the base of the hill and are $10 per tube per day. Pay with cash or credit card. Only District inner tubes are allowed. 

Before heading out to the tubing hill, check the @dupageforest Facebook page to find out if it's open. The hill will be closed during active weather warnings and when the "real-feel temperature" is 10 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

COVID-19 may limit how many people are on the hill at a time.


Explore the preserves by snowshoes! If you don't have a pair, you can rent some December – February at three forest preserves when there's plenty of snow on the trails. Rentals are $10 for two hours or $15 for the day. Rentals may be closed due to extreme cold temperatures.

At Blackwell Forest Preserve
When Mount Hoy's open for snow tubing, rent snowshoes at the base of the hill 10 a.m. –  2 p.m. Before heading out to the tubing hill, check the @dupageforest Facebook page to find out if it's open. 

At Fullersburg Woods 
Snowshoes can 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.). Call 630-850-8110 for availability.


Sledding and Ice Skating

You can sled and ice skate at most forest preserves, but rangers do not monitor conditions, so you do so at your own risk. As a guideline not a guarantee, a minimum of 4 inches of ice is recommended for any ice activity.

Sledding is always prohibited at Mount Hoy at Blackwell, Greene Valley scenic overlook, Mallard Lake landfill hill and any hill at Spring Creek Reservoir.


Dog Sledding

If there’s plenty of snow and you're a musher, you can use the Regional, Bobolink and connector trails through the McKee Marsh area north of Mack Road at Blackwell and the Thunderbird Spur Trail, which begins at the parking lot on Thunderbird Road, at Greene ValleyDuring the rest of the year, you can use wheeled carts under 4 feet wide on any trails that allow biking.

Remain on the trails and travel in a controlled, safe manner for the safety of other visitors and to protect the forest preserves’ natural areas. 

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County offers scores of nature-related programs and activities for grownups, kids, families and groups year-round. Click below to register for programs, reserve shelters and campsites or purchase permits, and we'll see you soon!

Reserve Facility
Purchase Permit