Moraine Hills State Park

As the name of the park implies, the topography of the area derives from a glacial moraine. Glacial melting at the end of the Ice Age formed the park’s stunning lakes, marshes and bogs.



The main entrance to the park is on South River Road in McHenry, Illinois. A detailed map may be found here.

Distance from Downtown Chicago

50 miles from the center of town

How To Get There

Bike, Walk, Drive


There are accessible parking spaces. An accessible fishing pier is located in the McHenry Dam area of the park. The Leatherleaf Bog Trail is not accessible.

Things To Do

Biking, Birdwatching (Canada geese, great blue herons, green herons, mallards, teal, wood ducks), Boating, Cross-Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking (the circular Leatherleaf Bog Trail is highly recommended), Jogging, Picnicking, Running, Visitors Center, Watchable Wildlife (coyote, eastern cottontail, mink, opossum, raccoon, red fox, white-tailed deer) and Wildflowers

Fun Facts

Native Americans have been in the area since 4000 B.C. The first known white settler was Horace Long. The remains of the foundation of his early 1800s cabin can be found along the main park road at the southeast corner of the park.

Other Information

There are 2 concessions in the park – one at McHenry Dam and the other at the nature center. In season these offer refreshments, boat rental and bait and tackle. On winter weekends, weather permitting, cross-country ski rentals are available at the concessions. Drinking water and restrooms are available in picnic areas. Flush toilets may be found at the restrooms in the 2 concessions and the restroom near the Northern Woods parking lot.


Nearby Island Café, 310 E State Rd, Island Lake hosts a huge collection of Betty Boop memorabilia and serves tasty breakfasts.

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Best Time To Visit

All year

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