By Fuzzy Monkey
The Lake In The Hills Fen Conservation Area is one of the parks in the McHenry County Conservation District. Located in Lake In The Hills, IL. Lake In The Hills Fen Conservation Area consist of 229 acres.
Lake In The Hills Fen Conservation Area consist of a large open 1.3 mile loop trail. The park is conveniently located right off the busy Randall road corridor. I was taken back by how open the views were at the park. The Lake In The Hills Fen is one of the more recent additions to the District, because of this the park has a “New” feel to it. The shelter is brand new and shows little use. Signs of the final landscaping preparations still exists as well. The only drawback to the park “which is minimal” is the small aircraft taking off and landing at the Lake In The Hills Airport. When visiting any of the conservation parks you hope to get away from man-made elements. However, this is a small price to pay for such a well done park.
The park contains a single 1.3 mile loop trail. The trail meanders nicely through the park offering miles of un-obstructive views of the area. The trail itself is mowed grass and winds through the park and along the paved bike path. (See Lake In The Hills Fen Photo Album). For the most part the hiking is flat and easily suitable for all ages and experience. If heading out to the observation section on the north part there is some rolling terrain which is graded well and easy to hike.
The main parking lot can accommodates 10 vehicles. The park features a shelter for 17, bike rack, restroom, and grills. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Fuzzy Monkey’s advise on hiking the Lake In The Hills Fen Conservation Area
My visit to Lake In The Hills Fen was during the summer 2011 (June 29, 2011). I did not carry water with me during my hike. I had my water bottle in the car which was adequate. I recommend bringing your own water as there is no water available at the park. One of the more pleasant aspects of this hike was the lack of mosquitoes. I don’t recall them being an annoyance at all during my visit. However, I do recommend some form of bug repellant or dressing appropriately. I wore shorts, a button down cotton shirt, hiking shoes, socks and sun hat. I also carry an iPhone with the trails app installed to measure my distance and location. Since you pass the parking lot hiking the loop, keep your water at your car and just circle around several laps for a more challenging experience.
I did wear a hat which I’m very glad I did as it was nice and sunny the day I visited. If I to do it over again, I’d wear light hiking pants even when its hot to keep the sun off. There is no shade on the trail at all. I’d also recommend a pair of sunglasses. If you are into ornithology you may also want to bring a pair of binoculars. Lots of bird activity around the area. There were several times I wish I had mine with me.
I visited during the week and did not run into anyone else. Visitors can find a self guided map at the kiosk by the parking lot or download the map from the McHenry County Conservation District website. For more park reviews visit Fuzzy Monkey’s McHenry County Hiking post.