Lake Defiance Trail

EASY 27 reviews

Lake Defiance Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near McHenry, Illinois that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.8 miles
114 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


cross country skiing


mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers

A multi-use trail system through woods, wetlands around a glacial lake. This is very nice, well maintained trail system of alternating asphalt pavement and crushed limestone, that is one of several hikes in the Moraine Hills State Park near McHenry, Illinois. The trail system can be used by day-hikers, bikers, and (in the winter) cross-country skiers. The park service here does an excellent job of making sure that the bike traffic flows in one direction, minimizing the stress for the day-hiker, The trail winds it way through alternating sections of woodland and wetland as it meanders its way around its namesake, Lake Defiance. The trail offers nice views of the glacial lake and some excellent birding opportunities, as the wetlands and woodlands provide homes for water fowl, kestrels, falcons, red wing balckbirds, orioles, and many others. The park service offers guided hikes and birdwatching on many days, call ahead for a schedule. Water is available through pumps on the hike, and there are concessions at the park station.

11 months ago

Nice park

Friday, March 25, 2016

Really nice state park.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Love this park. Loads to see as you walk. Great place for bikes too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nice trail, easy with minimal elevations. Late October hike the leaves are gone, but still some birds and reptiles to see (turtles an garter snakes).

Monday, May 28, 2012

The grounds are well kept and the hiking is great. My husband proposed to me on Lake Defiance and will always return whenever we visit Illinois. TIP* bring bug spray

trail running
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Very nice trail. Lots of wildlife and things to see. Also nice that other trails connect to this loop (like the McHenry Dam) so you can turn this run into a longer loop.

4 months ago

9 months ago

9 months ago

10 months ago

recorded lake defiance

Monday, January 02, 2017

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2016

recorded Red

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

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