Set in McHenry County in northeastern Illinois, Moraine Hills State Park draws countless visitors from near and far to its quiet setting of woodlands and wetlands. The sizable park spans over 2,200 acres, so there is plenty to see and do here for those who want to immerse themselves in nature. A diverse array of wildlife can be found throughout the grounds, and the park also houses a 48-acre lake and 15 acres of the Fox River that form its western boundary. The park’s trail system, which contains over ten miles of trails, provides an excellent opportunity for you to explore this amazing setting — and you can bring your furry friend along for the adventure!
To access the trail system, you can use the park entrance on River Road. You will begin in the south-central region of the park, and you have the option of exploring the more expansive northern trail system or the shorter trails on the south side (or both!). The northern trail complex runs through the wetlands in the northwest and around Lake Defiance in the east. The main trails are the Boghead Trail and Lake Defiance Trail. If you and your pooch want a shorter route, then you can take Fox River Trail south from the entrance. This trail affords you the best view of the river and loops around to the entrance. You will pass by Black Tern Marsh, which is known for its diverse flora and fauna, and there are also wildlife viewing platforms along Fox River.
When you’re visiting any trail, always be sure to follow its rules and proper trail etiquette. Moraine Hills State Park requires canine companions to remain leashed at all times. Also, remember to bring bags to clean up after your dog. The trail’s restrooms can be found at the McHenry Dam concession building and the park office.
Moraine Hills State Park is one of the most highly-rated parks in Illinois, and you and your pooch are sure to enjoy its amazing trails!