Activities

New Visitors

Explore Your Regional Parks

Welcome to the Regional Parks. We hope that you’ll enjoy exploring the parks and shorelines and participating in outdoor activities from archery, hiking to swimming. Spending time in nature is a great way to build physical health, mental relaxation, and social connection. For a safe and positive experience, please observe the following:

General Info

  • Find a Park helps you select a park location and activity.
  • Parks have different opening and closing times.
    Some parks have fees for parking, dogs, etc.
    Visit each park webpage for info on hours, fees, programs, attractions, maps, directions, history, and more.
  • During the pandemic, visit the Covid-19 webpage for latest guidelines.
  • Be familiar with the Park Rules and Regulations.
  • Bring plenty of water for you and your dog to prevent dehydration.
  • Restrooms are available at many parks. Review park maps for restroom locations.
  • Learn about Accessible ADA facilities and amenities.
  • Pack out your trash. Do not leave trash and bags of dog waste on trails. They contaminate the land and waterways. The Park District is one of the most dog-friendly agencies in the nation. We need dog owners' help to keep parks and trails environmentally safe for everyone. 
  • Tips for visiting parks with children.
  • Bringing your dog. Read general rules about hiking with dogs in the parks.
  • Parking safely and correctly. Do not block neighbors’ driveways, roadways, emergency exits, or service access roads.
  • Permit. Some activities in the Regional Parks require a permit.
  • Membership. Purchase a membership for most affordable way to regularly enjoy the Regional Parks.
  • Please do not feed wildlife such as ducks, geese, squirrels, coyotes.
  • Do not release animals in parks and lakes, such as domestic cats, fish, turtles or birds.

Before Heading Out

  • Visit the Covid-19 webpage for latest updates.
  • View the list of Alerts and Closure. Be aware of Fire Danger levels and follow all fire use restrictions.
  • Check the weather forecast for the selected park. If necessary, bring layers of clothing. 
  • Maps. At home, download a Park Map PDF or a Map GeoPPF (use with Avenza App).
  • Bring water, sunscreen, hat, hand sanitizer, face mask.
  • Bring dog leash (6-foot max.) and dog waste bags.
  • Understand park usage, and Park Rules and Regulations.
  • Browse the Calendar for programs and events. 
  • View programs/events at all visitor centers.
  • If going swimming, check Swim Facilities for OPEN/CLOSED status. Closures may be due to blue green algae, low water levels, renovation, or seasonal closures.

During Your Visit

  • Maps are available at info boards in parking areas or main trail head.
  • Keep your eyes and ears alert. Wildlife is around you -- deer, groundhogs, newts, birds, coyotes. Do not approach or feed wildlife.
  • Navigate safely around cows.

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