Hikers, bicyclers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers can enjoy more than 5 miles of trails, including a section of the Danada and Herrick Lake Regional Trail, a designated “National Recreation Trail” under the federal National Trails System Act. A path around the lake connects both parking lots to the picnic grounds and the trailhead, and additional trails cut through central and southern parts of the preserve.
Horseback riders should park their trailers at the south lot on Herrick Road and should not ride along the Lake Trail or in developed recreational areas, such as picnic sites or the grounds around the youth-group cabin.
When conditions permit, rangers groom trails for cross-country skiing. Classical cross-country skiers should use the set tracks on the outside of the trail, leaving the inside for freestyle skiers and other trail users.
With plenty of tables and places to spread a blanket, Herrick Lake has long been a popular DuPage County spot for picnics and informal field games. Groups can reserve the east, west and south shelters and the west picnic area by calling Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 but must do so at least three business days before their visit.
Ground fires are not allowed, but visitors can bring their own grills and use the on-site hot-coal disposal containers. For everyone’s convenience, Herrick Lake offers restrooms with flush toilets by the east shelter and pit toilets by the south shelter.
Hundreds of largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, crappie, and sunfish provide sport for county anglers at the 22-acre Herrick Lake, which has been part of the District’s fisheries-management program for more than 30 years. Periodic stocking of catchable-sized sport fish supplements the natural fishery.
The Forest Preserve District allows ice fishing at Herrick Lake at the angler’s own risk; rangers do not monitor ice conditions. As a guideline, not a guarantee, a minimum of 4 inches of ice is recommended for any ice activity.
Anglers 16 or older who are not legally disabled must carry valid Illinois sport fishing licenses, and all anglers must follow all District and state regulations.
Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks and rowboats for use on Herrick Lake by the hour or the day at the boat-rental area. Rentals include the use of oars or paddles and personal flotation devices. District regulations require that all individuals, regardless of age, must wear PFDs when using District-rented watercraft.
The boat-rental facility is open weekends and holidays from the beginning of May through Labor Day from 8 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. (the last boat rental of the day is at 5:30 p.m.). From Memorial Day through Labor Day, it is also open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. (the last boat rental of the day is at 5:30 p.m.). Between Labor Day and the end of September, the facility is open only on weekends from 8 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. (the last boat rental of the day is at 4:30 p.m.).
The Herrick Lake youth-group cabin can accommodate up to 26 people and has picnic tables and a fire ring. It is near restrooms with pit toilets, drinking water, trash and recycling containers, and firewood. As part of Districtwide efforts to help slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, outside firewood is not allowed.
Open year-round, the cabin is set aside for use by youth groups. The District defines youth groups as recognized, nonprofit organizations. Only members of these groups, with their accompanying leaders, may camp in the cabin. Camping permits and adult supervision of one leader over 21 years of age for every 10 children are mandatory for cabin use. Groups can reserve the cabin through Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 but must do so at least three business days in advance.