Enter Nature’s Playground
Bordered by Route 98 on the north, Sheridan Road on the South, McNaughton Park Road on the east and Parkway Drive on the west, McNaughton Park is an 850-acre nature park that is home to 15 species of animals and over 80 types of birds. This includes deer, foxes, muskrats, beavers, red hawks, eagles, cardinals, and more. The park also contains two lakes, a waterfall, several teepee shelters, an 18-hole professional disc golf course, a horse stable and horseback trails. The majority of the park is located within the Land and Water Reserve by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.
FIND YOUR FUN
Hours: 6:00 a.m. – Dusk
Trail Map: Download
Around 7 miles in length, the Potawatomi Trail starts behind the horse stables and ends at the Totem Pole. Total hike time is about 4 hours, if you’re needing a timeframe to plan your day. The trail is open to both hikers and mountain bikers, and parts of it are also used by horseback riders from Blazin’ A Trail Riding & Boarding. While there are some “short cuts” and “alternate routes” used by mountain bikers and horseback riders, we ask that you please stay on the marked main trail (noted in RED) to avoid getting lost. Some things to look out for along your hike include a small waterfall, an old cemetery, and the “Dirksen Swimming Hole” (a spot where the late Senator Everett Dirksen swam with boyhood friends).
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Also located within McNaughton Park is Blazin’ A Trail Riding & Boarding, located just off Route 98. Come explore 1100 acres of guided trails on a horse suited to you. Your guide will wind you through wooded landscapes, creeks, and wide-open spaces. Blazin’ A Trail Riding & Boarding also offer horse-drawn hayrack rides, pony-on-a-lead for the younger kids, horseback riding lessons, and private boarding.
Hours: 6:00 a.m. – Dusk
Another great feature of the park is an 18-hole professional disc golf course. Disc golf is played by throwing a disc into a metal basket with chains, counting each throw as you would a stroke in the game of golf. The best part? It’s easy for all ages to play and all you need is a disc. Maps, rules and scorecards for the course are available at the Recreation Office in the Veterans Memorial Arena or you can download them here.
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to Dusk
Bank fishing for bass, bluegill and catfish is allowed in Lake Zuercher. When the water levels sustain themselves, Lake Butterfield also has bank fishing and ice fishing has been allowed there as well in the past. Though due to nature’s succession, Lake Butterfield is becoming more of a wetland, therefore bank and ice fishing is becoming less of an option. To fish at McNaughton Park, you must follow State of Illinois DNR licensing regulations. For more information go to https://www.ifishillinois.org/
Yes! You can camp at McNaughton Park. We have a designated, primitive camping area – no electricity, water or restrooms nearby – that is west of the Totem pole near the Comfort Station (take a look on the map). But before you pack up your gear, be sure to grab your camping permit. If you do not have a permit, you will be asked to leave. You may request a camping permit by visiting the Recreation Office or clicking the camping permit link and returning it to the Recreation Office at least 7 days prior to your requested date. Camping is allowed only if the permit is approved. As with all the parks, we ask that everyone carry out what they carry in and clean up after yourself.
McNaughton Park also has several sheltered areas that are the perfect spot to host a picnic or take a break from the trails. As always, please be sure to clean up any spaces you use.
Park Safety and Preservation
To preserve the beauty of McNaughton Park, as well as ensure the safety and enjoyment of all park patrons, camping, hunting, use of alcohol, littering, disturbing wildlife, cutting of flowers, trees or shrubs, dogs off leash, and straying from designated trails is prohibited. The use of motorized vehicles and fires outside designated areas is also not allowed. Thank you for your cooperation.