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Recreation Activities

Horse-drawn Vehicle Use


In the time before automobiles became popular, many people traveled by horse and buggy in the summer and by sleigh in the winter. It can still be done, right here in Lake County.

Privately owned wheeled horse carts and gigs can use any trail designated for horseback riding.

Sleighs can use an area at Waukegan Savanna Forest Preserve that has a rolling grass field and mowed grass trail. Entrance is on the north side of York House Road just west of Delaney Road.

Permit Required

An annual permit allows one horse cart or gig to use any trail designated for horseback riding, and for one horse sleigh to use the area at Waukegan Savanna. Only carts, gigs and sleighs pulled by a single horse or pony are allowed with each permit. Maximum passenger load per vehicle is four. Annual permits are valid for the calendar year only and are not prorated.

Annual Permit Fee
$50 Lake County residents
$100 nonresidents

How to Purchase
Before you can purchase a permit, you'll need the license plate number for each car you wish to register.

Trail Courtesy

  • Only carts, gigs and sleighs pulled by a single horse or pony are allowed.
  • Horses must be hitched or on a lead at all times.
  • Carts, gigs and sleighs cannot carry more than four passengers. 
  • Wheeled vehicles cannot be more than 60 inches wide.
  • Only ponies or horses are allowed to pull carts, gigs and sleighs. Other draft animals are not allowed.
  • Horses may not be released into pasture.
  • Wheeled carts and gigs must stay on the designated horseback riding trails.
  • Sleighs must stay on the designated trail and must yield to all other trail users. 
  • All horse-drawn vehicles must be driven single file.
  • All horse-drawn vehicles must travel at walking speed only.
  • Pass only when necessary.
  • Pass on the left and announce passing by calling “TRAIL!”
  • Hikers and skiers must yield to horse-drawn vehicles.

For Assistance or to Report a Problem

For emergencies call 911. For nonemergencies, call 847-549-5200 and ask to speak to a Ranger. You can also contact our Public Safety Office at 847-968-3404, weekdays 6:30 am–3 pm.


Horse-drawn vehicle use hours on equestrian trails and at Waukegan Savanna coincide with preserve hours, 6:30 am to sunset, daily, unless otherwise posted.