Utility Links


Moraine Hills State Park & McHenry Dam State Park

Gates open at 8 am. Closing time is posted as you enter.


 Moraine Hills State Park will be closed for the firearm deer hunting season on November 20, 21, 22 and December 3, 4, 5, 6. Only permit holding hunters are allowed in Moraine Hills State park on these days. The McHenry Dam trail system and Volo Bog trail system will be available to the public at this time.


2020 Deer Season Updates: 10/29/2020

In order to adhere to the Resurgence Mitigations measures set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health the following changes have been made to our lottery for the 2020 season.


The Shot gun Season will continue as usual. However, there will not be an in-person lottery.

Staff will conduct an onsite call out drawing for the already selected permit holders.

Please be available by phone during your designated meeting time.

Staff will draw names and contact hunters for preferred zone. If there is no answer staff will put your name back into the drawing. After the second attempt to contact a hunter, a zone will be selected for the hunter.

If you do not have a preference please contact the site office before the draw and staff will select a zone for you when your name is first drawn. This will help speed up the process.

If an assigned hunter does not wish to hunt this year please contact the Park Office before Nov. 6th.

After the call outs are complete, hunting day site procedures will be emailed/mailed out to all permitted hunters.

The drawing will be Nov. 7th. The First Season permit holders will be called out 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. The Second Season permit holders will be call out at 1:00 pm- 2:30 pm.

Standby opportunities for the Saturday and Sunday of the second season will only be made available if a hunter station becomes vacant prior to the hunt. Please contact the Park Office prior to November 7th if you are interested in standby opportunities. A separate call-out will be held for any Standby Hunter opportunities to hunters that contact the main office before Nov. 7th. Those hunters who get selected will be contacted by site staff.

Please Check back here or contact the main office for further updates.  Main Office- 815-385-1624 



From fishing to hiking and biking - from lush habitat and rare plants to watching a wealth of wildlife - Moraine Hills State Park is home to a recreational bounty in northeast Illinois. Located 3 miles south of McHenry in McHenry County, the park is located near the Fox River and McHenry Dam, with about half of the park's 2,200 acres composed of wetlands and lakes.

In 1939, the State of Illinois made the initial McHenry Dam State Park land acquisition of 15 acres on the east bank of the Fox River. Major acquisition of the Lake Defiance area began in 1971, and construction of park facilities took place in the spring of 1975. The present Moraine Hills State Park opened in October 1976.​ The park name is derived from a geologic formation known as a moraine, which is an accumulation of boulders, stones and other debris deposited by a glacier.

The 48-acre Lake Defiance, located near the center of the park, is one of the few glacial lakes in Illinois that has remained largely undeveloped, maintaining a near-natural condition.

The waters and wetlands of Moraine Hills are home to abundant wildlife; more than 200 species of birds have been identified at the park.  Fishing is available on both Lake Defiance and on the Fox River. The McHenry Dam area provides access to the Fox River, and a fishing pier accessible to visitors with disabilities is available.  More than 10 miles of trails make Moraine Hills popular for hikers, skiers and cyclists, and provide one of the park's main recreation features.

The concession stand at the McHenry Dam provides refreshments, bait and tackle, and boat rentals for both the Fox River and Lake Defiance.  ​

Closing times vary with the season; plan to be back to the parking lot no later than sunset.  Closing time might be EARLIER than that so PLEASE look for the closing time posted as you enter.​

Park Information:

Northeastern Illinois

1510 S. River Rd
McHenry IL 60051




N: 42.323
W: -88.227

Other Parks in Illinois:

Map of Illinois DNR Regions State Parks in Northwestern IllinoisState Parks in Northeastern IllinoisState Parks in East Central IllinoisState Parks in West Central IllinoisState Parks in Southern Illinois