McDonald Woods Trail Loop is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Villa, Illinois that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
cross country skiing
McDonald Woods is 308 acres. A 3.8-mile loop gravel trail winds around the woods and wetlands. A 0.3-mile woodchip trail is open for hiking and cross-country skiing and leads to a basswood and sugar maple forest. An evergreen woods provides roosting places for chickadees and cardinals as well as birds of prey including Coopers hawk. Pine siskins, which pluck seeds from cones, occasionally spend the winters here. Dark-eyed juncos hop on the snowy forest floor snatching seeds fallen from trees and shrubs. In spring and summer listen for the rollicking sounds of bobolinks and the spring-of-the-year song of the eastern meadowlark as these grassland birds prepare for another breeding season.
Most of this trail is prairie view which I found to be pretty average. Although, I did enjoy the woods loop, the foot traffic only segment.
The main trail is gravel, but there is a woodchip trail offshoot that goes away from the main trail and eventually comes back. It's the best part and is not included on this map
When you walk the loop, looking inward is beautiful. However, if you look outward there are houses and subdivisions everywhere. Still a nice walk, but not an escape like I'd hoped it would be.
For being a little forest preserve in the Chicago suburbs, it was actually quite enchanting. Although tricky with a stroller, I loved the little wood chip paths that take you further into the woods. Really peaceful. Also, either the patrons are really respectful or it's just a well kept place because it was very clean. I will absolutely return!
It was great! Took my dog here, and we had a blast. Gravel path with a wood chip path attached, which has small mud trail attached to that. Will be returning.