Crystal Lake Park District  •  One East Crystal Lake Ave.  •  Crystal Lake, IL 60014  •  815.459.0680  •
Crystal Lake Park District on Pinterest!
Crystal Lake Park District on Flickr!
Crystal Lake Park District on Instagram!
Crystal Lake Park District on Twitter!
Follow Crystal Lake Park District on Facebook!
Contact us via email!
Return to Homepage
Crystal Lake Park District - An IAPD/IPRA Distinguished Agency
Weekly Feature!

NEW this Season. Register for a program and get a friend to register too... and you all save. Questions about the Friendship Savings Program? Contact Kim Buscemi at (815) 459-0680, ext. 1217

Look for details inside the summer brochure



Rainout Line
(815) 410-4475
Save some time,
view on-line or
download the free app!

Check This Out! -Veteran Acres Park offers something for every season

scenes from the 2014 Frozen Gnome Race at Veteran Acres Park and Sterne's Woods

Ultra Runners from all over converged on Veteran Acres and Sterne's Woods on January 11 for the McHenry (County) Ultra Running Dudes and Dudettes (MUDD) Frozen Gnome. In The Frozen Gnome's race, runners chose either the 50K ultra run or a 10K through the snow and terrain of the park.

Thank you to MUDD for sharing this video clip from the event and also passing on kudos from runners about Veteran Acres Park.

From Brian Lemmon-Frozen Gnome runner
"A huge thank you to you and all of the volunteers. This was my 6th trail run & was the most enjoyable due to the course layout & volunteers. I've passed by VA Park many times, heard there were trails back there but never thought too much of it being in Illinois, my oh my was I ever so wrong. Had a blast!."

Veteran Acres Park

Acorn Alley at Veteran Acres Park


Open Dawn to Dusk Daily


Monday-Friday 11 AM-7 PM

Saturday-Sunday 10 AM-7 PM

Memorial Day-Labor Day

Please note: Groups of 20 or more wishing to use the facility must obtain a special permit at the Crystal Lake Park District Administrative Office

Video and Photos of Acorn Alley on

Photo Gallery of Acorn Alley

Veteran Acres Bathroom Solar Panels

Check out the energy production in real time!

Be sure to check out the bottom of the report for the Environmental Benefits to Date. As of August 2014 enough electricity has been produced to power one cell phone for 422 years!

Veteran Acres Bathroom Solar Panels

click here to view the solar panel energy production at the newly renovated Veteran Acres Bathroom

Entrances off of Route 176 and Walkup Road - 140 Acres

Veteran Acres is one of the crown jewels of the Crystal Lake Park District. Located on the site are the Nature Center (link to Nature Center info and images), Rotary Building and Rotary Warming House. This park boasts a variety of outdoor athletic fields and recreational areas including restrooms, two picnic shelters, a playground, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, horseshoe pit, Mary Peacock softball field used by the Girls Softball Association, Frank Repp baseball field used by Babe Ruth Baseball League, two sled hills and an ice skating pond formed by glacial retreat many years ago.

HikersPassive recreation lovers enjoy groomed cross country ski trails in the winter and hiking trails through natural areas including Sterne's Woods and Wingate Prairie, an Illinois Nature Preserve. Wingate Prairie is 39 acres of precious gravel hill prairie. Precious, because a scarce 59 acres are known to exist within Illinois. In 1994, the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission designated 33.5 acres as Illinois Nature Preserve. Only sites with statewide ecological value are considered for this highest level of protection under Illinois law. An additional 38.8 acres of land was designated around the prairie as Nature Preserve buffer. This unique prairie land, with its rolling terrain, oak savanna and conifer groupings, is home to several rare and endangered plant and animal species including the Prairie Buttercup, Pinweed, Queen of the Prairie, Pale Vetchling, Purple Flowering Raspberry, Silvery Blue Butterfly, and the Franklin Ground Squirrel. During its active months from spring to fall, the prairie is in constant bloom. Nature lovers are welcomed by different blooms weekly making the prairie an ever-changing kaleidoscope of wildflowers. From hill to hollow, the type of flowers waiting to be discovered varies. A flat moraine at the northern end of the site is home to yet another variety of plants not requiring the well-drained soil of the hills or the damp hollow areas.

McHenry County Conservation District's Prairie Trail South also winds through Veteran Acres.

A concession stand offers a variety of refreshments during summer Babe Ruth league games and special events held at the park. Shelter, building and picnic grove rentals are available.

Map of Wingate Prairie Hiking Trails (PDF) PDF Download

produced by
Visionary Webworks