Illinois Snowmobile TrailsMaddy Scheinost
Illinois Snowmobile Trails
Where to Find the Best Snowmobile Trails in Illinois
With over 2,500 miles of snowmobile trails in Illinois, getting out for winter activity is a popular pastime for residents of the state. Though some groomed trails can be found on state-and county-owned land, primarily in the northern part of the state, the largest percentage of Illinois snowmobile trails are made available through the efforts of the more than 75 local snowmobile clubs on privately owned land. So, where do you find the best Illinois snowmobile trails? Which are the best snowmobile trails near me when I’m in Illinois? What trails will provide me with an unforgettable experience when I’m snowmobiling in Illinois? Below is a list of a few of the most popular Illinois snowmobiling areas, compiled by the experts at Treadworld. It’s always a good idea to check out snowmobile trail conditions for the area you’re headed to before beginning your snowmobile adventures.
Argyle Lake State Park
Location: Two miles north of Colchester in McDonough County, IL
Here you’ll find eight miles of designated snowmobile trails and unplowed roads winding through the scenic, heavily wooded sections of oak,-hickory and pine trees that cover rolling hillsides and some steep terrain. Rich in local history and once part of an old stage route, the area is named for a 93-acre boating and fishing lake.
Big River State Forest
Location: Six miles north of Oquawka in Henderson County, IL
Some of the most popular snowmobiling in Illinois can be found on the 46 miles of groomed trails and scenic roadways you’ll find here. Sled through dense red, white and jack pine forests that tower more than 50 feet high in this conservation area that spans 3,300 acres along the Mississippi River. The forest is a remnant of a vast prairie woodland border area that once covered much of the state.
Franklin Creek State National Park
Location: Eight miles east of Dixon, IL, just north of Route 38
Considered by many to be one of the best places to go snowmobiling in the state, this 882-acre national park offers 4 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails through scenic hardwood forests and meadow lands. As you ride, keep an eye open for some of Illinois’ wildlife including woodpeckers, flycatchers and other birds, blue and green herons, raccoons, beavers, deer and water snakes.
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
Location: Bureau, Henry and Whiteside Counties, IL
A great option for snowmobiling adventures, this state park offers 75 miles of groomed Illinois snowmobile trails including the longest snowmobiling trail in the state. The trails follow an old path originally used as a pathway for horses towing barges along a canal (towpath) that was opened in 1907 to link the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, then quickly abandoned due to competition from railroads. This trail is a gateway to the Great American Rail-Trail, which is an in-development, nearly 4,000-mile multi-use trail that stretches from Washington, D.C., to Washington state.
Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail
Location: In Gebhard Wood State Park in Northern-central IL
Here you can ride snowmobile over the nearly 62 miles of trails along what used to be the towpath of the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal from Channahon, IL, to LaSalle, IL. The trail parallels the Illinois River while passing through many northern Illinois towns. You’re likely to encounter some of the area’s abundant wildlife along the way.
Jane Addams Trail
Location: Stephenson County, IL
When it comes to the best snowmobile trails with historic significance in Illinois, this 19-mile trail is the hands-down winner. Named for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning social activist who grew up nearby, the trail also passes Freeport, the site of the second Abraham Lincoln-Stephen Douglas debate.
Kankakee River State Park
Location: Peoria County, IL, near Kickapoo, 15 miles northwest of Peoria, IL
Bordering the Kankakee River, this 4,000-acre park is considered one of the best places to snowmobile in Illinois with its 15 miles of largely forested trails, in part because of the beautiful scenery it provides snowmobilers in winter. Keep a sharp lookout for deer, waterfowl and upland game in the area.
Location: McHenry County, IL, along the mid-northern border of the state
Running the length of McHenry County, this rail trail winds just over 26 miles from the Wisconsin border to Chicago suburbs, passing through farmlands and woodlands, along with eight communities. It’s part of the 500-mile Grand Illinois Trail, connecting with the Hebron Trail in the north, and joining the Fox River Trail along the way.
Sand Ridge State Forest
Location: Five miles west of Manito in Mason County, IL
Called an “island in a sea of agriculture,” this 7,200-acre state forest provides snowmobile enthusiasts with 26 miles of panoramic trails. Sled through expanses of oak and hickory woodlands and vast pine plantations, along with open fields, grasslands and sand prairies left when the flood waters of the last glaciation period receded around 15,000 years ago . A bird-watchers paradise, the state’s largest state forest also offers abundant wildlife including deer, turkeys, pheasant, quail, doves and several varieties of squirrels.
Weinberg King State Park
Location: Three miles east of Augusta, IL, in Schuyler County
During the winter months, snowmobilers regularly use the 22 miles of equestrian trails in this 772-acre state park to explore the Illinois wilderness on their sleds, through scenic woods and pastureland with rolling terrain including some steep hills. Weinberg King provides those enjoying winter activities with ample opportunity for wildlife viewing, including squirrels, doves, quail, rabbits, woodcock, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys.
That’s Only A Few…
When you’re ready to embrace winter by snowmobiling in the Land of Lincoln, you’ll have a lot of options for getting out and opening up the throttle. We’ve only highlighted a few of the outstanding Illinois snowmobile trails here, but it won’t take you long to find many others, all capable of providing a wonderful wintry weather outdoor activity experience.
We’re Treadworld, Home of the Best Specialty Tires Anywhere
Whether you’re enjoying winter activities in Illinois or some other state, when you decide to snowmobile outside your own backyard, one of the safest ways to transport your sleds is with a snowmobile trailer. And you can count on us to provide you with the high-performance tires for snowmobile trailer that will get you safely to where you want to go. Even the best snowmobile trailer is worthless if it’s not equipped with dependable tires. Here at Treadworld, we have the right trailer tires for every occasion, along with a huge selection of UTV and ATV tires, farm implement tires and ag tires, lawn & garden tires, forklift tires and more. You can count on RubberMaster brand trailer tires to provide the finest in top quality, long-lasting, never-let-you-down reliability, manufactured with strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, triple-tested for quality before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect, then covered by our Ultimate Advantage Lifetime Warranty. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have.