By Fuzzy Monkey
The Winding Creek Conservation Area is one of the parks in the McHenry County Conservation District. Located in Hebron, IL. Winding Creek Conservation Area consist of 359 acres.
The Winding Creek Conservation Area consist of 1.7 miles of hiking. With the grand opening of Winding Creek in the summer 2011 it’s the newest edition to the district. The park has been brilliantly designed and laid out. With room for busses in the parking lot. The pond has a great pier for fishing and wildlife viewing. Winding creek is a bit of a drive for me coming from Crystal Lake, but certainly worth the trip. The park is out in the middle of some very large farms. Because of this its a great place to get away from man-made encroachments.
The park contains two sections for hiking. The 1.7 mile main trail is a nice loop that circles the park. The 1 acre pond towards to back of the park also has a wonderful .2 mile trail. Both trails are mowed grass like terrain. The shorter pond circle is gently rolling and easy to hike. The main trail is flat and easily suitable for all ages and experience. (See Winding Creek Photo Album). The surrounding farms offer the hiker views of corn fields and open spaces.
The main parking lot can accommodates 10 vehicles and 2 or 3 busses. Winding Creek features a large shelter for 65, bike rack, water fountain, restroom, and grills. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Fuzzy Monkey’s advise on hiking the Winding Creek Conservation Area
My visit to Winding Creek was during the summer 2011 (July 5, 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. If you forget, there is well water, but this tends to have a distinguished smell and taste which turns most people off.
The mosquitoes were annoying so 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. While walking the pier I observed small fish swimming in the pond. The sounds of frogs and various insects surrounded me as well. It was also pleasant to see various birds flying around.
I did wear a hat which I’m very glad I did as it was nice and sunny the day I visited. If I had done it all over again, I’d wear light hiking pants even when its hot to keep the sun and mosquitoes off. I’d also recommend a pair of sunglasses.
There is actually two parking lots at Winding Creek. The parking lot immediately off Johnson road is for early morning parking. (Prior to the gates opening). Another parking lot is located further down the road by the shelter. There are still some corded off areas around the shelter and landscaping work being done.
I visited during the week and did not see anyone else there. Hikers 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.