Illinois, Moraine Hills

Location:Moraine Hills State Park
Elevation Change: Minimal
Length:7.0-10 Miles
Surface: Crushed Limestone

Illinois Canyon

Trail Information:

The crushed limestone surface is wide and well maintained, but the area is fairly hilly. Three connecting loops comprise the ten miles of trails. The Fox River Trail is the flattest, and the Lake Defiance Trail and Leather Leaf Bog Trail are hillier.
You’ll pass through a variety of terrains—lakes, woods, marshes, and prairies. By the marshes, get off your bike and spend a few minutes at one of the two viewing platforms observing the variety of waterfowl, including blue and green herons, mallards, teals, and wood ducks. The trails are also home to fox, deer, mink, and beaver. In the vegetation department, look for marsh marigold, Saint-John’s-wort, hoary willow, and other rare species. If you like to see battles between the plant and animal worlds, Pike Marsh, southeast of the Lake Defiance Trail, is home to one of the state’s largest known colonies of pitcher plants, a rare species which traps and eats insects. If that makes you hungry, there are two concession stands in the park. Also, fishing and boat rentals are available.


From IL 53 and US 12 (Rand Road), go west on US 12 for 12.5 miles to IL 176 (Liberty Street). Turn left on IL 176 and take that for 3.5 miles to River Road. Turn right on River Road and the entrance will be 2 miles on your right. Once in the park, drive up the main road to the Kettle Woods Day Use Area.

Sources of additional information:
Moraine Hills State Park
914 South River Road
McHenry, IL 60050
(815) 385-1624

Notes The one-way trails are color coded and have distance markers along the way.

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