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MCCD offers after-dark hiking, skiing

Published: Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 12:56 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Conservation District reminds residents that they can get out to enjoy some fresh air and exercise every night after dark.

The district has two sites open late for hiking or cross country skiing when the conditions are right. 

Now through March 9, residents can hike or ski until 9 p.m. every evening on the Solar Lit Trails at Pleasant Valley, Woodstock (half-mile beginner loop) or Hickory Grove Highlands, Cary (1-mile intermediate loop). 

The Pleasant Valley Trail (closed Nov. 22 through 24 and Dec. 5 through 8) 13315 Pleasant Valley Road in Woodstock, is a short 0.5-mile trail located on the east side of the entrance drive and traverses relatively flat terrain, perfect for beginners or shorter outings. Park in the first parking area and sign in. 

The trail at Hickory Grove Highlands, 500 Hickory Nut Grove Lane in Cary is a longer 1.25-mile looped trail that travels through a restored savanna, offering a longer scenic route with some hills and turns, suitable for intermediate skiers. Visitors should sign in at the trailhead.

Both sites are in addition to the popular Candlelight Skis that are offered twice during the season. 

For information, visit the district's website at

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