Crystal-clear water, spacious sandy beaches and islands are only
a few of the special features at Three Oaks Recreation Area.
Go Jump in the Lakes!of McHenry County, Illinois
McHenry County, Ill. -- Looking for easy and inexpensive ways to have fun with your family this summer? Go jump in a lake!
Nothing does the trick like a day at the beach and luckily, you'll find some of Chicagoland's best sand beaches just a short drive northwest in McHenry County. Check out these ideas! Click on attraction names for more info and driving directions.
Three Oaks Recreation Area, Crystal Lake: This reclaimed quarry has pristine water and a beautiful soft sand beach with certified lifeguards, splash pad with spray jets and buckets of water poured from overhead, playground with memory foam decking, scuba diving, hiking and biking trails, pavilion rentals and picnic area with grills.
The 4,400 sq. ft. Lake House has changing rooms with coin-operated lockers, showers, toilets, first-aid center, free wi-fi, and an overhead pergola where parents can relax and view kids playing on the beach. The Lake House also has a on-site Culver's restaurant providing concessions, but you're welcome to bring in your own food, too.
While personal watercraft are not allowed on the lake, the marina rents row boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, paddle pontoons and sailboats. The marina also sells fishing licenses, night-crawlers and fishing tackle. Open Daily 10 a.m. to sunset though Labor Day. www.crystallake.org/residents/three-oaks-recreation-area
|A wakeboarder enjoys a spin around the Quarry Cable Park.|
The Quarry Cable Park, Crystal Lake: Quarry Cable Park is a perfect complement to Crystal Lake's Three Oaks Recreation Area, which began life as a gravel pit more than 60 years ago. Now you can enjoy wakeboarding at
this next-generation cable wake park. Cable wakeboarding is similar to wakeboarding behind a boat, but without a boat, riders are pulled along a cable system suspended in the air by a series of towers around the sparkling clear lake dotted with jumps and other features.After boarding, there's a fire pit, live music, sand volleyball, bean bag toss and open-air yoga to enjoy. New this year is Duke's On the Water. Downtown Crystal Lake's Duke's Alehouse is proud to announce its partnership with The Quarry Cable Park, serving burgers, sandwiches, salads and comfort foods with indoor and outdoor seating. Open daily 10 a.m. to sunset through Oct. 5. www.thequarrycablepark.com
Crystal Lake Park District Beaches, Crystal Lake: There are two public beaches on crystal-clear Crystal Lake: Main Beach and West Beach. Both have large swimming areas, certified lifeguards, concessions (full service
available at Main Beach), picnic areas, showers, lockers, changing rooms, bike lockups and wheelchairs. Main Beach is open Daily 9 a.m. to sunset through Aug. 11, then weekends 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. though Labor Day. West Beach is open daily 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through Aug.11, then weekends 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. www.crystallakeparks.org/beaches
Petersen Park Beach, McHenry: Sit back in beach chairs and loungers on this sandy beach on the shores of McCullum Lake. Certified lifeguards secure the swimming area. Beach amenities include two inflatable WiBit tracks on the lake (Wiggle Bridge & Hurdle), sand volleyball courts, sand toys, plus rowboat, paddleboat, canoe, kayak and barracuda bike rentals. Open Daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 13. www.ci.mchenry.il.us/petersen_park
These two sand beaches on Woods Creek Lake have restrooms, showers, changing rooms, picnic tables, volleyball and grilling in parking lots. Indian Trail Beach has a picnic shelter for rental, too. Open daily sunrise to sunset through Labor Day. www.lith.org/parksrec/page/indian-trail-butch-hagele-beaches
GET AWAY TO McHENRY COUNTY
McHenry County is just a 60-minute drive northwest of Chicago, bordered on the north by Wisconsin, and on the south by I-90. The Fox River winds down from the Chain of Lakes through the towns on the eastern side of the county, while country roads meander the western side. For visitor info, lodging and dining options throughout McHenry County, go to VisitMcHenryCounty.com, e-mail info@VisitMcHenryCounty.com, or phone 815-893-6280. Follow on Instagram and Facebook @visitmchenrycounty. For a free digital McHenry County 2017/2018 Insiders Guide, click here: VisitMcHenryCounty.com/Request-Information.