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Best Winter Hikes

McHenry County sites top list of “best winter hikes” in the Chicago area.

CBS Chicago named Glacial Park Conservation Area in Ringwood and Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry among the top five Best Winter Hikes Near Chicago.

“The hills, ridges and kettle glacially carved into this northwest suburban state park not only lend interesting visuals in the summer, but the undulating geography helps to block those pesky winter winds when hiking,” CBS said of Moraine Hills. “The 1,700- acre park offers a visitors center, boardwalk and more than 10 miles of well maintained trails among the kettle-moraine topography:  the two-mile Fox River Trail is relatively flat and offers a observation area to eye birds and the winter skeletons of cattails; the 3.2-mile Leatherleaf Bog Trail that snakes around a natural bog and offers gradual hills; and the 3.7-mile Lake Defiance Trail winding around its namesake lake with just a bit of elevation.”

“Winter hiking … is probably the best time of the year to experience that wonderful soft silence of nature that can get you out of your head and into the moment.” –CBS Chicago

The 3,400-acre tract of Glacial Park, CBS explained, offers miles of hiking over frozen creeks and delta kames (cone-shaped hills created by glacial streams some 12,000 or so years ago). “Break out the thermos and recording device at the high point as you spy the naked rolling Illinois prairie unfolded before you,” CBS suggested. “The Visitors Center serves as a warming respite, and you might consider bringing gear for cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails or the sledding hill.”


Glacial Park
Lost Valley Visitor Center, Ringwood, IL, United States
Moraine Hills State Park
Moraine Hills State Park, South River Road, McHenry, IL, United States

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