Schedule and location
Our rental season will be delayed until after Illumination. It runs from January 8, 2021 through March 12, 2021 (when four or more inches of snow has accumulated). For the safety of everyone, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing will NOT be allowed on East grounds due to proximity of trail to the exhibit. The West side, however, will be available but trails are neither marked nor groomed.
Rental Hours at the Visitor Center
Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Last rental is at 3:00 p.m.
Weekends: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Last rental is at 3:00 p.m.
All Day $18 ($20/Nonmember)
Poles available for additional $2
Children’s Snowshoes (10 years and younger):
All Day $13 ($15/Nonmember)
Cross-Country Skis (includes boots and poles):
All Day $11($13/Nonmember)
On most days, snowshoe & ski rentals will be available, when four inches or more of snow has accumulated on the Arboretum grounds. On such days, designated trails are groomed with classic-style skiing in mind. Even with plenty of snow, conditions vary and can affect rental hours. Please call the Visitor Center Information Desk at 630-968-0074 before your visit to confirm rental availability.
Rentals are handled by an outside contractor who is not able to accept Arboretum gift cards or cash as payment - credit card payments only.
There are wonderful skiing destinations across the Arboretum grounds:
Set off on a scenic adventure though the snow-capped trees. Discover new territory on the Arboretum's East Side. Explore 3.5 miles of designated cross-country ski trails. This trail loops from the Conifer Collection out to Parking Lot 8 and back to the Elm Family Collection. Blaze your own path across our 1,700 acres or trek along the Arboretum's 16 miles of hiking trails.
Popular Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing Spots:
- The Conifer Collection (good for kids and families)
- Thornhill Education Center Lawn
- Main Trail Loop 4 on the East Side
- Spruce Plot near Parking Lot 12
- Daffodil Glade at Parking Lot 22
- Designated cross-country ski trails on the East Side
- Designated cross-country ski trails on the West Side (not groomed)
Please only wear snowshoes and cross-country skis on snow-covered trails and areas. No skis or snowshoes allowed on the roads. Benches are available in various locations. Restrooms and warming stations are located at the Visitor Center, Thornhill Education Center, and Thornhill Shelter (P-21).
For more information, visit the Information Desk at the Visitor Center or call ahead to see if conditions are good for rentals 630-968-0074.
Fees and admission
Rental fee must be paid by credit card and does not include Arboretum admission fee. Credit cards are the only accepted payment type for rental fees - no cash or Arboretum gift cards. Quantities are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.