MCL Guide To Summer Fun
There are plenty of fun things to do this summer in McHenry County.
Cool off with a swim at any of the following pools and beaches.
Stingray Bay Family Aquatic Center
(12219 Main St. in Huntley, 847-515-POOL) has a 238-foot-long waterslide, two top slides, a raindrop, sand play area, 6-lane competition pool, beach-simulated entry to the water, two one-meter diving boards, sand volleyball and a concession stand.
Woodstock Water Works
(1313 Kishwaukee Valley Rd. in Woodstock, 815-338-4896) has a zero-depth recreation pool with a double-flume slide and play features in the shallow end, as well as an eight-lane competition, lap pool with one-meter and three-meter diving boards, a baby pool, two shelters, a tot play lot, concessions, plenty of green space for sunning or picnics and plenty of parking.
Crystal Lake Main Beach
(300 Lake Shore Dr. in Crystal Lake, 815-459-PARK) and West Beach (2330 Lake Ave.) are both great spots to play in the sand, take a swim or go for a boat ride.
Indian Trail Beach and Butch Hagele Beach
(on Woods Creek Lake in Lake in the Hills, 847-960-7460) are great spots for swimming. Paddle boats are also available for rental.
Peterson Park Beach
(on McCullom Lake in McHenry, 815-363-2126) is a good place to spend the day. Guests can rent a canoe, rowboat, paddle boat, kayak or barracuda bike.
(14304 Kishwaukee Valley Rd. in Woodstock, 815-338-5079, www.willoakscampground.com) sits on about 15 acres of WillOaks Farm and features a lovely pond for fishing and swimming. A playground, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, hiking, nature watching and plenty of space for sports, picnics and relaxation can be found on the grounds.
Chicago Northwest KOA
(8404 S. Union Rd. in Union, 815-923-4206, www.koa.com) accommodates RVs as well as tents and has one-room cabins available. The site also includes a swimming pool and mini golf course. Planned activities are available as well as bicycle rentals.
Lehman’s Lakeside RV Resort
(19609 Harmony Rd. in Marengo, 815-923-4533, www.lehmansrv.com) offers many amenities including newly renovated bathing facilities. Swimming at a sand beach, paddle boats, canoes and rowboats as well as fishing are all included.
Thomas Woods at Marengo Ridge
(3100 N. Rt. 23 in Marengo, 815-338-6223, www.mccdistrict.org) is a McHenry County Conservation District site with individual tent and RV sites. Firewood is available on site.
Chain O’Lakes State Park
(8916 Wilmot Rd. in Spring Grove, 847-587-5512) offers camping sites. This water-oriented recreation area has opportunities for boaters, anglers and skiers.
Buffalo Park Campground
(1 Alan Dr. in Algonquin, 630-444-1200) is located on 2,500 feet of the Fox River; fishing and children’s play areas are also nearby.
take a hike
The McHenry County Conservation District maintains more than 40 miles of trails throughout 16 sites. Call 815-338-6223 or visit www.mccdistrict.org, use the interactive map and let the journey begin. Also, check out the only “quaking” bog in Illinois at Volo Bog State Natural Area (28478 W. Brandenburg Rd. in Ingleside, 815-344-1294).
Moraine Hills State Park
(1510 S. River Rd. in McHenry, 815-385-1624) has more than 10 miles of hiking and biking trails with access to the McHenry Dam on the Fox River. Chain O’ Lakes State Park (8916 Wilmot Rd. in Spring Grove, 847-587-5512) hosts campers, boaters, picnickers, hikers, bikers, fishers and more.
hunt for adventure
Geocaching is part sport, part treasure hunt. With the help of a GPS receiver, outdoor enthusiasts of all ages search for a hidden cache posted on a geocaching website (www.geocaching.com). Visit www.mccdistrict.org or call 815-338-6223 for more information.
catch a double feature
The McHenry Drive-In Outdoor Theater (1510 N. Chapel Hill Rd. in McHenry) is one of the last of its kind. Call 815-385-0144 for showtimes.
paddle your way
Canoe the Nippersink Creek.
The McHenry County Conservation District has four landings, including Keystone Road Landing in Wonder Lake, Lyle C. Thomas Memorial Park in Spring Grove, the Nippersink Canoe Base in Fox Lake and the Pioneer Road Landing in Ringwood. Check real-time creek levels and get more information at www.mccdistrict.org or 815-338-6223.
Schmidt’s Canoeing Service
(847-697-1678) serves trips on the Fox River. Call for reservations.
Tip-A-Canoe Canoe Rentals
(262-342-1012) serve both the Fox River and the Nippersink Creek.