McHenry County Cross-Country Trails in Prime Condition

Enough snow has fallen in the area for cross-country skiing. The McHenry County Conservation District offers several options for skiing in the area, including two sites that have solar-lighted trails and are open after dark.

A couple of inches of the white stuff has fallen in recent days, leaving trails throughout McHenry County in prime condition for cross-country skiing. 

The conservation district grooms the following trails — all of which were listed in good condition as of Monday afternoon — when there is four inches of snow or more in the winter: 

  • Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road in Ringwood, 4-mile and 2-mile trails. 
  • Rush Creek, 20501 McGuire Road, Harvard
  • Marengo Ridge, 2411 South Route 23 in Marengo, 2.2-mile and 2.3-mile trails. 
  • Pleasant Valley, 13315 Pleasan Valley Road in Woodstock, 2.7-mile trail. 
  • Hickory Grove Highlands, 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane in Cary, 4.5-mile trail. 
  • Lyons Prairie and Marsh,
  • Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road in Crystal Lake, 4-mile trail
  • The Hollows, 3804 Highway 14 in Cary, 1-mile trail and 1.75-mile trail

There are also trails available for cross-country skiing at: 

  • Brookdale, 18410 Highway 14 in Woodstock, 1-mile trail
  • Coral Woods, 7400 Somerset Coral in Marengo, 1.5-mile trail
  • Exner Marsh, Lakewood and Miller roads in Lake in the Hills, 1.5-mile trail
  • Fel-Pro RRR, 1520 Crystal Lake Road in Cary, 2-mile trail
  • Fox Bluff, Cary-Algonquin Road and Cold Springs Road in Cary, .5-mile trail
  • Harrison Benwell,  7505 McCollum Lake Road in Wonder Lake, 2-mile trail
  • Lake in the Hills Fen, 1500 Jefferson St. in Lake in the Hills, 1.5-mile trail
  • Prairie Trail North between Barnard Mill and Rt. 176, 10-mile trail
  • Prairie Trail South, from Pyott Road south to the Kane County county line, 4.5-mile trail
  • Silver Creek, 1200 Block Rawson Bridge Road in Cary, 1.3-mile trail
  • Stickney Run, 3216 West State Park Road in McHenry, 1-mile trail
  • Winding Creek, 8415 Jonson Road in Hebron, 1.7-mile trail

The majority of sites are open from sunrise to sunset with entrance gates open at 7 a.m., according to the MCCD website. The MCCD also has a full map of the trails available on its website

For those hoping to cross-country ski after work, the McHenry County Conservation District has two sites that have solar-lighted trails and are open after dark. 

The trails at Pleasant Valley in Woodstock and Hickory Grove Highlands in Cary are both open until 9 p.m. through March 10 this year. 

Renting Skis

Alpine Accessories, 9219 Route 31 in Lake in the Hills, rents cross-country skis. Rentals are available for one day up to a full season. Contact Alpine Accessories at 847-854-4754 for more details. 


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