Picnickers can use any of the tables located throughout Mallard Lake Forest Preserve. They can also reserve the 50-person shelter through Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 but must do so at least three business days before their visit.
Ground fires are prohibited, but visitors may bring their own grills and use the on-site hot-coal disposal containers. For everyone’s convenience, Mallard Lake offers drinking fountains and restrooms with pit toilets.
A 2.5-mile trail system, including a boardwalk ideal for bird-watching, winds around the lake and over two bridges and connects to Bartlett Park District trails.
The 85-acre Mallard Lake is the District’s largest recreational lake and features largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill, crappie, northern pike, muskie and two wheelchair-accessible piers. The 9-acre Cloverdale Pond and the West Branch of the DuPage River offer fishing spots as well.
Anglers 16 and older who are not legally disabled must have valid Illinois sport fishing licenses in their possession. All anglers must follow all District and state regulations.
Dogs are welcome at Mallard Lake but must be on leashes no greater than 10 feet in length.
Visitors with valid Forest Preserve District permits can use nongasoline-powered watercraft — boats, canoes, kayaks and multichambered inflatables with factory- installed hardened floors and transoms — up to 20 feet long on Mallard Lake. Watercraft must be transported on or in a vehicle (no trailers) and carried to the lake.
Watercraft must have valid Illinois Department of Natural Resources registrations and Forest Preserve District private-boating permits. A steel lockbox is available along the trail to collect fees for daily District permits. Annual permits are available through Visitor Services at District headquarters in Wheaton weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and through the rental area at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville, when open. Additional permit information is available through Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248.
Federal and state regulations require that watercraft contain one well-fitting, Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each member on board and that children under 13 wear their PFDs at all times. In addition, the District requires that all individuals, regardless of age, must wear PFDs in canoes and kayaks.