The 6 Best Snowmobile Trails in Illinois

January 27, 2021

This winter season you may be thinking the best way to spend your time is to huddle by the fire with a good book and a hot cup of coffee. While that does sound nice, getting outdoors and taking full advantage of the weather after a year of being cooped up inside is one way to avoid cabin fever.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or looking to try something new this winter, snowmobiling is a great way to make the most out of the gloomy Midwest weather this year. In this blog, we’re sharing the 6 best snowmobile trails in Illinois for all experience levels.

Try One of These Best Illinois Snowmobile Trails

1. Argyle Lake Start Park

In the western-central town of Colchester, Illinois, Argyle Lake State Park boasts a 93-acre lake for boating and fishing, 5 miles of rugged foot trails, and a heavily wooded 1,700 acres of virgin land. 8 miles of designated trails and unplowed roads are available for snowmobiling in the winter from sunrise to 10 p.m. daily.

2. Illinois Canal State Trail

Located in northern-central Illinois, the Illinois and Michigan Canal is a National Heritage Corridor that has become a very popular recreation area, which includes snowmobiling along a majority of the route all winter long. Snowmobiles are allowed to use 61.5 miles of the trail along what used to be the towpath of the canal as long as there are a least four inches of accumulated snowfall. Once that level of snow is accumulated, the trail is open 24 hours a day for snowmobiling.

The entire trail winds through many northern Illinois towns and parallels the Illinois River, offering amazing scenic views in the winter. You may also pass by numerous historic landmarks such as the 19th-century aqueducts built of stone and the M.J. Hogan Grain Elevator.

3. Kankakee River State Park

The snowmobile trails at Kankakee River State Park pass through 15 miles of largely forested land bordering the southern side of the Kankakee River, which makes for beautiful winter scenery for snowmobilers.

Snowmobiling at the park is allowed from sunrise to sunset beginning in mid-January after hunting season has ended and is only allowed as long as 4 inches of snowfall has been accumulated.

4. Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park

The Hennepin Canal is home to the longest snowmobile trail in the state of Illinois, boasting 91 miles on the towpath. The trails at Hennepin Canal are not groomed and riding the ice is allowed at your own risk ¬– just make sure to keep an eye out for skiers and ice skaters!

Snowmobiling is only allowed when the trails are declared open by park staff when there are 4 inches of snowfall and 6 inches of frost on the ground. You may call the visitor center at 815-454-2328 to check if the trails are open on any given day.

5. Franklin Creek State Natural Area

Franklin Creek State Natural Area is most popular amongst hikers, skiers, snowmobilers, and equestrians. Snowmobiling is allowed on 4 miles of the designated equestrian trails that pass through scenic hardwood forest and meadows. Snowmobiling is only allowed after hunting season has ended and once there are 4 inches of snow on the ground.

Franklin Creek State Natural Area is known for its wildlife conservation efforts, so you may just see some of Illinois’ most majestic wildlife while you’re out on the trails.

6. Big River State Forest

Located in Keithsburg, Illinois, Big River State Forest is perfect for snowmobiling as it offers approximately 46 miles of groomed snowmobile trails that wind through acres of scenic pine forest lands.

Trails are open from sunrise until 10 p.m. and have a warm house amenity for use at the head of the trail until 4 p.m. daily.

Register Your Snowmobile at South Suburban Currency Exchanges Today!

Illinois state law requires that purchasers of snowmobiles submit an application to the Department of Natural Resources for registration and titling within 15 days after making the purchase. With over 65 years of experience handling vehicle needs, South Suburban Currency Exchanges makes registering your snowmobile easy and efficient.

Get your snowmobile ready for winter by finding the nearest location to you and registering it immediately after purchase.