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Your Forest Preserves

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Hastings Lake Trail Map
Countywide Map & Guide


270 acres


Boating / Canoeing / Kayaking
Cross-Country Skiing
Hike Lake County Challenge
Picnic Shelter Rental
Summer Camps


Drinking Water
Picnic Shelters
Picnic Tables
Public Parking

Picnic Shelters

Shelter A

Hastings Lake

Four miles of paved and gravel trails wind through open fields, woodlands of stately trees, and wetlands. Trails here are open to bicycling, hiking and cross-country skiing, and in-line skating on the paved trail. Horses and snowmobiles are not permitted.

Two trail spurs provide access to the preserve from the Seven Hills and Mallard Ridge subdivisions. A trail connection to Grass Lake Road on the east side of the lake is also available.

Other amenities include three picnic shelters, a large playground, three scenic overlooks, boardwalks, and two wheelchair accessible fishing piers. 

The 80-acre lake features many scenic vistas. Bluegill, largemouth bass, carp, and other species can be found in the lake. State fishing regulations apply. Swimming, ice skating and ice fishing are not permitted. 

Separate parking and lake access for cartop boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and other small watercraft is also available here. Launching is free and at your own risk. You'll need approved flotation gear and your boat must be registered with the state of Illinois. Electric trolling motors are allowed. Trailers are not permitted.

Picnic Shelters

The preserve features a unique shelter that can be reserved year-round. Seasonally, tent walls are installed to fully enclose the shelter allowing for cozy celebrations even during Lake County's colder months. 

Shelter A :: Open or Enclosed

This large shelter offers a stone fireplace, heated restrooms, drinking water, electricity, a large patio area with grill, picnic tables, and convenient parking near the preserve's main entrance on Gelden Road. 

During Lake County's warmer months of May through October, the shelter can be reserved for groups of up to 200, making full use of the larger more open indoor-outdoor setting. 

During colder months of November through April, when the shelter is fully enclosed, it can be reserved for groups of up to 70. Heaters and the stone fireplace within the shelter offer added warmth for cool-weather events. 

To rent the shelter, use our online reservation system or call our General Offices at 847-367-6640, weekdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Smaller Shelters Available

The preserve also has two family-size shelters for groups of up to 25. These smaller shelters are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis and are not reservable. 



Hastings Lake Forest Preserve is located in north central Lake County in Lake Villa. [View on Google Maps

The main entrance is located on Gelden Road southwest of Grass Lake Road. A second entrance is located on Munn Road north of Grand Avenue (Route 132).



The preserve was established in 2003 and named for the Hastings Lake YMCA, a camp which previously had occupied this property 1923 to 2002. The YMCA of Metro Chicago continues to operate a smaller facility on an adjoining property. 

A $750,000 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant from the state of Illinois helped offset acquisition costs. We transferred 2.5 acres of the acquisition to the Lake Villa Fire Protection District for construction of a new fire station on Grass Lake Road.


The Natural Scene

Open fields and meadows, woodlands of stately trees, and wetlands create a scenic natural environment. The 80-acre lake features 12,000 feet of shoreline. Bluegill, largemouth bass, carp, and other species can be found in the lake.


Contact Information

Hastings Lake
21155 W Gelden Road
Lake Villa, IL 60046
(c) Lake County Forest Preserves

Preserve News

2015 Picnic Shelter Reservations Now Open
Preserve safety tips
Board approves 100-year Vision and Strategic Plan

Upcoming Events

Nov 23 Thanksgiving for Nature Scavenger Hunt