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McHenry County Conservation District manages over 25,000 acres of diverse woodlands, wetlands and prairie. Explore outdoor recreational opportunities, programs and special events at 33 sites.
Knotty Pine Farm began as a vision in a 7 year old little girl's head many years ago: a farm filled with animals of all sorts to learn about, care for and love. That vision is now a reality! Children of all ages can enjoy horses in a comfortable and safe environment. We are a family owned and operated equine center offering a variety of animal related activities. Located north of Woodstock, IL in beautiful McHenry County. We offer english and western riding lessons, horse camps, pony rides, petting zoo, girl/boy scout outings and a party facility.
Eight miles northwest of Windsor, Wolf Creek State Park encompass 11,100 acres of water, 250 miles of shoreline and large tracts of carefully maintained indigenous woodlands ideal for camping, horseback riding, snowmobiling, boat fishing, water skiing, pontoon boating, windsurfing or just plain bobbing and drifting on the glittering expanse of the lake itself. In addition to visiting the small, friendly wooded campgrounds or taking part in the action on the lake, swimming is available from the beach. You can also take a leisurely stroll through nearby forests. An abundance of deer, pheasant, rabbits, wild turkey and songbirds are almost always visible.
Ten-acre horse farm offers hayrides and riding lessons, plus a petting zoo, exotic animals and even a monthly line dancing event.
The gateway to the largest outdoor playground in southern Illinois includes Rend Lake, the second largest manmade lake in the state. Wheelchair access.
Danada Equestrian Center welcomes visitors of all ages to learn about riding and horsemanship through hayrides, group barn tours, riding lessons, summer camps for kids and its annual Fall Festival.
This quiet and clean preserve features a 1-mile trail for hikers, bicyclists and cross-country skiers, three beautiful picnic shelters, a 3-acre pond for fishing, open playfields and a playground. The Half Day Forest Preserve is also the starting point for the Des Plains River Trail which links this preserve to the Wright Woods Forest Preserve. The entrance and parking area are located on Route 21 (Milwaukee Avenue) at the light for Woodlands Parkway, south of Route 60 (Townline Road) and just north of Route 22 (Half Day Road).
Located in southeast Lake County near Vernon Hills, this crushed gravel surface trail is perfect for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross country skiing. The trail offers a medium level of difficulty as it winds alongside tree-laden riverbanks, through dense bottom-land woods, adjacent to ponds and over footbridges. This trail links the Half Day Forest Preserve to the Wright Woods Forest Preserve spanning nearly the entire length of Lake County.
Seasonal waterfalls, awe-inspiring bluffs and rugged canyons dominate the storied landscape at Starved Rock. Rich with history and beauty, Starved Rock’s hiking trails meander through towering trees and scenic overlooks along the Illinois River. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, paddle boat cruises, cross-country skiing, trolley rides, fishing and picnicking. Visitors can stay at the historic Starved Rock Lodge or in one of its cozy cabins.
Enjoy Jo Daviess countryside in a horse-drawn buggy/bobsled. Ride at our place or yours. Call for information/reservations.
Central Illinois lake with over 11,000 water acres and 172 miles of shoreline. Lake Shelbyville has 5 federal campgrounds, and 2 state campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites from tent camping up to full hookup. There are several recreational areas with picnic areas and pavilions and 2 wildlife management areas. Three public beaches are available for swimming on the lake. The lake also hosts many launching ramps that are available for boats, and 3 marinas on the lake. Many hiking trails also encompass the lake such as the General Dacey which also includes fitness stations, the Chief Illini trail and others.
Situated in the majestic hills of Savanna on more than 350 acres with access to over 24 miles of trails, Scenic Bluff Ranch is a fun and friendly haven, with a caring atmosphere, which makes riding horses a pleasure. Established in 1997 and designed with horse and rider in mind, we cater to all disciplines and breeds and we have plenty to offer everyone; from the inexperienced to the seasoned rider. Ride our trails with your horse or rent our facility for your event.
Forty acres of woods and meadows for riders eight years old and up; trail rides--excellent for first-time or occasional riders--offered on weekends. Also in Lockwood Park: pony ring, wagon rides, hayrides, petting farm and riding lessons. Special season opening activities in the spring and Halloween hayrides in the fall. Call for hours, rates and group outing opportunities.
Located in Palatine, IL, Deer Grove Forest Preserve has trails that offer a moderate level of difficulty. At almost 10 miles in length, the hiking trials make Deer Grove worth a visit. Split into two very individual sites connected by paved and unpaved trials, the east preserve features open wetlands surrounded by old fields and an in-progress savanna and prairie restoration. The west side is wilder, the forest denser and crisscrossed with footpaths along the rolling terrain. Quite woodlands, white-tailed deer and a completely different experience await the hiker on the west side. Both paths are equally enchanting.
Waterfront family villas and suites. 1-2 bedroom housekeeping units. Deluxe and unique. Open April through October. $$
A variety of equestrian services for beginning to advanced riders. Personalized professional instruction and scheduled trail rides.
Saw Wee Kee Park sits along the south shore of the Fox River. Located in Oswego this park has an abundance of fun, advanced mountain bike singletrack trails to conquer. These 5 miles of steep inclines and quick descents will give you plenty of stories to tell your friends. While you are there you can also fish, kayak and canoe along the Fox River.
Nestled in the Rock River Valley, just 3 miles south of the town of Oregon, lies a 2,291-acre wooded area that is one of Ogle County's most beautiful and historic sites. Its scenic qualities come from 120-foot bluffs along 3.5 miles of riverfront forested with hardwood and pine trees. The history stems from the individual who, in the early part of the 20th century, augmented the natural hardwood forest by planting pines. Frank O. Lowden (1861-1943), Illinois' governor from 1917-1921, ardently embraced proper land use and strongly believed in reforestation as a way to retard soil erosion. Over several decades, an estimated 500,000 trees were seeded directly by him or under his supervision.
Lipizzaner Stallions have been enchanting audiences for 450 years. Witness art and history come to life at one of our summer performances. From the playful bounding of new foals to the strong, precise jumps of our stallions, the whole family will be captivated by the strength, beauty, and intelligence of hese horses. Each performance, to music, is a study in classical horsemanship which has been practiced in Europe since the 16th century; the Lipizzaners have been performing at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria since the 1500's. There are very few places in the United States where such an art can be observed. We offer a taste of Vienna, Austria right in your back yard.
CITY:Old Mill Creek
Full-service Conference Center in Starved Rock State Park. Dining room, bar, veranda, outdoor dining, indoor pool (for Lodge guests). Retreats, meetings, banquets, reunions and all-inclusive dream weddings. The Lodge has 69 rooms and 21 cabin rooms in a rustic, wooded setting.
The Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve is an easy hike consisting of a 3.2-mile loop. The trail is good for all skill levels and offers a number of activity options. Nearly all of the hike follows Salt Creek as it winds around the bluff and past a few islands on its way to the historic watermill at the south tip of the park.
This 1,775 acre lake features 540 acres of shoreline as a day use conservation area. Recreational activities include fishing, picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and hunting.