A Little Time and a Keyboard: Places to Snowshoe in the Chicago Suburbs

Places to Snowshoe in the Chicago Suburbs

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snowshoeing  in the Chicago suburbs where you can rent snowshoes

A snow wonderland is here in Chicago! I love snowshoeing in our preserves. Just something about the stillness while hearing the crunching under your feet is calming. Good thing we have plenty of places in the Chicago suburbs to snowshoe! Here are some ideas! **When planning a snowshoeing adventure, remember to bring your driver's license because you may have to leave it while renting. Also, call ahead to verify availability.** Snowshoeing does require between 4"-6" of snow on the trails and the required amount may vary by preserve.

Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca: Springbrook Nature Center not only has trails but also has snowshoes for rent. There must be at least 3 inches of snow on the ground for snowshoeing.  Snowshoes are rented Saturday and Sunday 11AM-3:30PM and cost $5 per person. You will need a driver's license, school id, etc.

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 and 9AM-4:30PM on week days anytime there is 3 inches of snow. Poles are also available.

Forest Preserves of Cook County: All of the Nature Centers have snowshoes available with the exception of Sagawau (Sagawau does have ski equipment for rent for cross country skiing). Check the Forest Preserves of Cook County website for special snowshoe events. You may need to register for these events. 4" of snow on the ground is required for snowshoeing.  *Please note that Crabtree Nature Center is closed for winter 2023. Trails are open but the actual center for the shoes is closed.

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 $5 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. Rentals start December 1.

Morton Arboretum in Lisle: The Morton Arboretum has snowshoes for rent when there is an accumulation of at 4" of snow. Snowshoe rentals are available January 15 -March 21. Rentals are available at Visitor's Center on weekdays 10AM-4PM and weekends 9AM-4PM. Last rental is at 3PM.  It is recommended that you call to verify availability first. Rentals are through a 3rd party vendor, so credit card payment is necessary. **Please note that you currently must reserve timed entry to the Morton Arboretum.**

Lincoln Marsh in Wheaton: Lincoln Marsh has weekday rentals of snowshoes for $7 for 3 hours. Rentals are available 8AM-3PM. Weekend rentals are $15 checking out at 4PM Friday through Monday 10AM. A waiver is required. Snowshoes must not leave the property.

Lake Katherine in Palos Heights: Lake Katherine rents out snowshoes for $6 per person per hour with a minimum of one hour. Rentals are Monday-Saturday 10AM-3PM, last rental at 1:45PM. Snowshoes are available December through March. See Facebook page for more details.

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 on Saturdays and Sundays December through February and school holidays. Tube rental is $10 per tube per day. 3" of snow on the ground is needed Snowshoe rental is $10 per person per 2 hours, $15 per day. Snowshoe rental ends at 2PM, tube rental at 3:30PM. Snowshoe rental is available December through February.

Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook: Fullersburg Woods Education Nature Center has snowshoe rentals 10AM-2PM daily. Snowshoe rental is $10 per person per 2 hours, $15 per day. Call  630-850-8110  for availability.

Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete: Goodenow Grove rents snowshoes from Plum Creek Nature Center. Rentals are $15 per person per day for adults and require a valid driver's license or state ID. Renters must be 18-years-old or older.

Kane County Forest Preserves: Kane County Forest Preserves has a variety of snowshoeing programs at a number of preserves, check with the website for the latest details and offerings. Each event is $25 per person and includes rental.

Glacial Park Conservation Area in Ringwood: Lost Valley Nature Center at Glacial Conservation Center rents out snowshoes if there is 5" of snow or more. Rentals are $10 per day and require a driver's license and $20 cash deposit. Rentals start at 10AM and end at 2:30PM, nature center closing at 4PM. Call ahead to check availability.

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

REI in Vernon Hills: REI also has snowshoe rentals and holds a variety of snowshoeing events and trips in the area. Please check website for further details.

Mill Race Cyclery in Geneva: Mill Race Cyclery has snowshoes for rent for wherever you are wandering! Contact cyclery for prices.

Plank Road Taproom in Elgin: Plank Road Taproom rents snowshoes and has two trails on their property to enjoy. $25 for snowshoe and pole rental, access to trails and a fireside beer. For those 21+. $15 for BYO snowshoes. Must make reservation.

You can rent snowshoes at these locations. If you have your own, feel free to bring them along!

**Updated 11/17/18.**
**Updated 12/26/20**
**Updated 2/2/22**

Places to Snowshoe in the Chicago Suburbs

1 comment

  1. Oh wow! I was wanting to put together a list like this, but just couldn't squeeze it in my editorial calendar. So I'm double thrilled to find your post! Now to get out there and hike a few of these...!