The weather outside is delightful
Enjoy skating, tubing, ice fishing and more in nature's winter wonderland
Last updated 12/23/2019 at 4:15pm | View PDF
With winter officially under way, activities taking advantage of the season's falling temps are on the rise. The Village of Hinsdale and the DuPage and Cook forest preserve districts are offering a number of ways to keep one's warm blood pumping in the cold. Here are a few:
• Ice skating
320 N. Vine St.
The village-operated rink at Burns Field will open for use once weather permits (4-6 consecutive full days of weather below 32 degrees). Once the ice is in place, posted signs will indicate if the rinks are open or closed. The rink is lit for evening activities, and warming house hours there are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays - supervised, with free hot chocolate and a fire. Hockey is permitted, and the park will close nightly at 10 p.m. Updates on rink ice conditions will be provided on the village's website, https://www.villageofhinsdale.org, and its Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HinsdaleParksAndRecreation.
• Snow tubing
Blackwell Forest Preserve
Butterfield Road just went of Winfield Road, Warrenville
Take a thrilling 800-foot ride down Mount Hoy when 3 or more inches of snow covers the hill. Only forest district inner tubes are permitted, and the rental cost is $10 per tube per day. Rentals end at 3:30 p.m. All ages are welcome. The hill is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Jan. 3, and weekends and school holidays through Feb. 24. For snow conditions, call (630) 871-6422.
• Cross-county skiing
Hinsdale's Katherine Legge Memorial Park, 5901 S. County Line Road, is a popular spot for skiers once enough snow falls. And the DuPage County Forest Preserve District features trails at many of its properties, as well. When conditions permit, staff members groom more than 70 miles of trails for classical and freestyle cross-country at the following sites:
Churchill Woods, Glen Ellyn
Cricket Creek, Addison
Egermann Woods, Lisle
Fullersburg Woods, Oak Brook
Greene Valley, Naperville
Herrick Lake, Wheaton
Hidden Lake, Downers Grove
McDowell Grove, Naperville
Springbrook Prairie, Naperville
St. James Farm, Warrenville
Timber Ridge, West Chicago
Waterfall Glen, Darien
West DuPage Woods, West Chicago
Trail users are asked to take care not to damage tracks that have been set. Maps for most forest preserve trails are available at https://www.dupageforest.org. For information on trail conditions, call the district's outdoor report at (630) 871-6422 and press 3, then press 2.
DuPage County forest preserves are great places to explore by snowshoes. Bring a pair or rent some at three forest preserves when there is plenty of snow on the trails. Rentals are $10 for two hours or $15 per day.
At Fullersburg Woods, 3609 Spring Road, Oak Brook, snowshoes can be rented from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 2 p.m. Sundays. Call (630) 850-8110 for availability.
When Blackwell's Mount Hoy is open for snow tubing, rent snowshoes at the base until 2 p.m.
Rental snowshoes are also available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the forest district headquarters, 3S580 Naperville Road, Wheaton. Last rentals are at 2 p.m. Call (630) 933-7200 for availability.
• Cross-country ski lessons
Weekends, Jan. 4 to March 8
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center
12545 W. 111th St, Lemont
Learn to ski with a certified professional ski instructor of America. The program is for ages 12 and up. Registration for each lesson starts the Monday prior to the lesson date. Time: 9:30 a.m. Cost: $20. RR
• Hard Water Classic
Blackwell Forest Preserve Butterfield Road just west of Winfield Road, Warrenville
Anglers of all ages are invited to test their skills at this eighth annual DuPage County Forest Preserve District ice fishing tournament. The top three catches of largemouth bass, bluegill, northern pike and crappie will receive gift cards to local sporting goods stores. The biggest catch overall will earn a gas-powered auger or ice shelter. Door prizes will also be awarded. Participants must bring gear and bait and comply with all applicable fishing regulations and tournament rules. Anglers 16 and older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois fishing licenses. Proceeds support ranger-led recreation programs for special-needs groups, youth groups, Scouts and community resource centers in DuPage County. If condition are not ideal, the event will take place Feb. 8. Time: 11 to 11:45 a.m. check-in, noon to 3:30 p.m. tournament. Cost: $20, $25 at the event.
• Fitness hike
Country Lane Woods
95th Street east of Willow Springs Road, near Willow Springs
This five-mile hike is for those looking to get some exercise outdoors, conducted at a faster pace with little to no stopping or interpretation on unpaved, rolling terrain. Time: 10 a.m.
• Wonders of Winter
Mayslake Peabody Estate
1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook
All ages are invited to discover the fun of visiting a forest preserve in winter through horse-drawn hay rides, ice fishing, geocaching, nature hikes and more. Then warm up inside Mayslake Hall with activities related to forest preserve plants, animals and programs from rangers, naturalists and volunteers. Activities are ongoing throughout the event. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission: Free with fees for some activities.
• Snowshoe trekking
Camp Bullfrog Lake
9600 Wolf Road, Willow Springs
Enjoy this forest preserve on snowshoes; program requires at least four inches of snow. Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Birkie Tune Up
Sagawau Environmental Learning Center
12545 W. 111th St., Lemont
Join this cross county skiing program and be ready for the Feb. 22 staging of the American Birkebeiner, the largest Nordic ski race in the U.S. The program will only be held if ski trails are open. Time: 1 p.m.
- by Ken Knutson