It’s one of the joys of childhood, but please remind the young ones to sled down the middle of the hill and walk up the sides to avoid the dreaded “bowling alley” scenario and potential injury. Here are the go-to hills:

  • Lincoln Park – Located at Russell Avenue and Lakewood Place in Aurora, this is a gentle hill suitable for young children and beginners.
  • McCullough Park – Launch from the Prisco Community Center parking lot at 150 W. Illinois Avenue and enjoy Fox River views on the way down.
  • Waubonsie Lake Park – Located just west of the playground, this semi-steep hill is an annual favorite for thrill seekers.
  • Oakhurst Forest Preserve – The big hill on Fifth Avenue, just west of Kautz Road, offers the fastest and steepest sledding in the area and is maintained by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.


Snowshoeing is permitted in any of the District’s 168 parks and across the 48-mile network of trails. Enjoy the peace, beauty and serenity of winter in the parks.

Whenever the snow cover is three inches or more, snowshoes are available for rent weekdays (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at the Red Oak Nature Center. For $5, you can rent a pair of snowshoes – poles included – to navigate across the white stuff.

Cross Country Skiing:

Where there’s snow, there’s skiing. Unlike downhill, Nordic skiing requires no expensive lift ticket. Free fun is literally right out the door. Here are some personally tested favorites with minimal road crossings:

  • Fox River Trail – Start in North Aurora on either side of the State Street Bridge and stride northward. Both sides are wooded, peaceful and beautiful. The more ambitious can travel a loop to Batavia, crossing the river at the Clark Island bridges.
  • Virgil Gilman Trail – The trailheads at Prairie Street or Galena Boulevard are both good starting points. Heading westward, skiers will enjoy a rustic glide, all the way to Waubonsee College. Blackberry Creek parallels much of the route, further enriching the scenery.
  • Waubonsie Lake Trail – This popular network of trails can be accessed at Waubonsie Lake Park (off Kautz Road) and from the parking lot at the Eola Community Center. One tour around Waubonsie Lake on skis is all it takes for this destination to be added to the favorites list.
  • Stuart Sports Complex/Jericho Lake – A sprawling expanse of snow – nearly 400 acres worth – provides plenty of room for skiers to roam to their heart’s content. Park at the south entrance off Route 30 near the dog park.

The following sites will be supported by Operations through snow season 2020-2021

Sites will be addressed using a tiered approach starting with the highest priority sites. Sites will receive an array of maintenance measures including but not limited to pre-treating, clearing and de-icing.

The following parking lots shall be snow plowed as needed:

Barnes Maintenance
Blackberry Farm
Cole Center
Copley II
Eola Community Center
Fox River Trail East – Montgomery Dam and cemetery lot
Fox River Trail West – Trail head at State Street
Gilman Trail East – Hill Ave. trail head
Gilman Trail West – Prairie, Galena Blvd. and Terry trail heads
Greenhouse/Lincoln Park
Jericho Lake Park
Krug Park
NA Island front half of lot
O’Donnell School
Oakhurst Maintenance
Orchard Valley Golf Course
Phillips Park – (Howell entrance for maintenance needs)
Prisco Community Center
Red Oak Nature Center
Splash Country
Stuart Sports Complex – (South side for dog park access & North Maintenance yard for operational needs)
Vaughan Athletic Center
Waubonsie Lake Park

The following sidewalks shall be cleared and salted as needed:

Blackberry Farm
Blackhawk Park
Cole Center
Copley II
Eola Community Center
Prisco Community Center
Red Oak Nature Center
Stuart Dog Park access
Vaughan Athletic Center

The following parking lots should be locked December 1, 2020 through April 1, 2021 (no snow and ice control)

Aurora Prairie
Cool Acres
Copley 1 west auxiliary lot (parking available in main lot on Lake Street)
Gregory Island
Hoscheit Park
Hurds Island
Lebanon Park
Middlebury Park West
NA Island
New Haven Park
Rios Complex
South Broadway Park
Smith East lot
South Island
Stuart Sports Complex
Veterans Memorial Island
Wheatland Park

The following parking lots will be closed and locked after snow accumulation of 2” or more, lots will re-open when snow is not present:

Austin Park
Indian Creek Park
Martin Luther King Jr. Park