Sunday, January 11, 2015

Snowshoeing in the Chicago Suburbs



We first experienced snowshoeing a few years ago. Since then, it has either been a.) too cold or b.) not snowy enough. This year, we are hoping to break our streak and be able to snowshoe again! You do need at least 4 inches of snow on the ground to snowshoe, so hopefully we will find a free weekend day with the right amount of snow and decent weather! There are few places in the area to snowshoe so here are a few of our picks for this winter. To make it easy for you, we are listing places with rentals available. Be sure to make sure you have your Driver's License with you for renting.

Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca: Springbrook Nature Center not only has the trails but also has snowshoes for rent. Snowshoes are rented Saturday and Sunday 11AM-3:30PM and cost $5 per person. 

Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia: Red Oak Nature Center is located on the Fox River in Batavia. You can rent snowshoes there for $5 per person from 10AM-3PM on weekends. 

Crabtree Center in South Barrington: Crabtree Nature Center loans out snowshoes for FREE whenever the snow is 4" or deeper. Equipment is limited and available 9AM-2:30PM. Driver's License required.

Spring Valley Nature Center: Spring Valley Nature Center has snowshoes available for rent when there is at least 4" of snow on the ground. Rentals are $4 per person for a maximum of 3 hours per day. They are available 9AM-3PM and must be back by 4:30PM. Driver's License or a form of ID required.

Morton Arboretum in Lisle: The Morton Arboretum has snowshoes for rent when there is an accumulation of at 4" of snow. For adults rentals are $10 per adult member for 2 hours, $12 per nonmember, $14 and $16 respectively for a full day. For kids the prices are $8 ($10 nonmember) for 2 hours and $12 ($14 nonmember) for the whole day. Admission to the Morton Arboretum is $9/adult, $8/senior and $6/child. These are winter rates through March. Rentals are available at Visitor's Center. It is recommended that you call to verify availability first. 

Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville: Blackwell Forest Preserve not only has snowshoeing but also a hill for tubing. Two in one! The hill is open 9AM-4PM and on school holidays except Casmir Pulaski Day. Tube rental is $5 per day. Snowshoe rental is $5 per person per 2 hours, $10 per day. Snowshoe rental ends at 2PM, tube rental at 3:30PM

LLBean holds snowshoeing courses in the area. Check the LLBean website for more details on location, prices and registering.
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