• Map of Crystal Lake and Nearby Parks

    2020 Beach OPerations

    Update: August 31, 2020

    With the regulations as part of the Restore Illinois, we had to reduce our lifeguard certification offerings, which limited our ability to hire lifeguards. Due to this lifeguard shortage the swimming area and boat rentals will be closed for Labor Day weekend. While we are happy that we were able to keep Main Beach open for the past 8 weeks, in the interest of safety we must close for the last weekend of the season. The park area and playground will remain open for those interested in picnicking while properly social distancing. Splash pads will be extended through September 13 at Veteran Acres and Woodscreek.

    Caring for residents and employees in a COVID world is very different, and we appreciate everyone's ongoing understanding as we continually adjust to CDC and IDPH guidelines.

    Look below for information about:

    • Hours of Operation
    • Admission Fees
    • Resident Season Pass


    Main Beach Swim Area

    300 Lakeshore Drive

    Crystal Lake


    West Beach Swim Area

    2330 Lake Avenue

    Crystal Lake

    Closed for summer 2020

    Season Hours Closed for season
    Closed for summer 2020
    Post Season Hours Closed for season
    Closed for summer 2020

    Please note:

    A handicapped beach wheelchair is available at both Main Beach and West Beach. Please contact Main Beach Office at 815-477-5404 for further information.

    Swim Areas or portions of the swim area will close due to the following:

    -Air Temperature is below 68

    -Lightning or heavy rain

    -Low in-water attendance

    -Safety considerations, including high bacteria number (determined by McHenry County Health Department)

    What's happening with the lake

    You may also notice that after heavy rainfall, the beaches may be put on "Swim Advisory." The water is OK to swim in, but swimmers should be aware bacterial quality levels could be elevated. We are in constant communication with the McHenry County Health Department to ensure we are communicating with swimmers.

    When the water is deemed unsuitable for swimming, the beach will be closed. The water will then be re-tested everyday by the Health Department until we can reopen.

    Stay up-to-date on beach closures by subscribing to our Rainout Line.


    View beach updates from McHenry County Department of Health.






    Resident Daily Admission

    Main Beach will be open to Crystal Lake Park District residents only until 2 pm.

    After 2 pm, admission opens to both residents and non-residents


    Park District residents


    Park District resident senior citizen

    (ages 60 & older)


    Park District resident child

    (ages 3 & under)


    Twilight Rate

    (begins at 5 PM)


    Parking FREE


    Beach Passes are available at the Administration Office, 1 E. Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake during summer operating hours. Beach Passes are for beach use only and do not include the boat launch, boat rental, program or special event privileges. Beach Passes do not include entrance of guests.

    Please note: A valid photo ID with a Crystal Lake Park District address or current utility bill is required to receive Resident Beach Pass rates for Crystal Lake Park District Residents.

    2020 Resident Season Beach Pass


    Resident Individual Season Beach Pass

    Please note: Seniors (60 yrs and older) and children 3 yrs and under are free and do not require a pass


    Resident Season Beach Pass replacement



    Main Beach will be open to Crystal Lake Park District residents only until 2 pm.
    After 2 pm, admission opens to both residents and non-residents
    Boat rentals are available prior to 2pm to non-residents.
    Reserve online and present your receipt at the gate.


    Non-Resident Adults (age 16-59 years)


    Youth (age 4-15 years)


    Seniors (age 60 & older)


    Ages 3 & under


    Twilight Rate (begins at 5 PM)

    1/2 price admission

    Parking FREE


    Non-Resident Season Beach Passes will not be offered for summer 2020.

    Main Beach Grounds

    Print Map

    Bike Compound

    A lock-up area for bikes is provided at Main and West Beaches.

    Dogs and Other Animals at Beaches

    Animals are prohibited at Main Beach Park and West Beach Park (qualified service animals are exempt.)

    Handicapped Beach Wheelchair

    A handicapped beach wheelchair is available at Main Beach. Please contact the Main Beach Office (815.477.5404) for further information.

    Summer 2020 Special Events

    Jun 2-Aug 11: Tuesday Night Concerts in the Park (CANCELLED)

    Jun 13: Beach Bash (CANCELLED)

    Jul 5: Fireworks (CANCELLED)

    Jul 25: Cardboard Boat Regatta (CANCELLED)

    Aug 16: Monarchs & Music (CANCELLED)

    For up to date information about Main Beach special events visit the Special Events page

  • Updated 8/31/20: Closed for 2020 Season

    Boat House Direct Line: 779-994-7060

    Please note: due to technical issues, we are unable to accept gift cards at this time.

    Life jackets included in rental fee and are required

    Free parking in the Main Beach parking lot

    Boating on beautiful Crystal Lake is fun and affordable through the Park District boat rental operation at the Main Beach Boat House. Fees are on a per boat basis.

    Non-residents may rent boats prior to the 2 pm admission. Present your reservation receipt at the gate for admission.

    Please note:

    All renters must sign a Boat Rental Waiver. Available at Boathouse or print in advance (see link below).
    • 12 - 15 year olds may use boats with a signature of a parent/guardian who is present on the beach.
    • 16 - 17 year olds may use boats with a signature of a parent/guardian.
    • For sailboat rental, participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the sailboat.
    Reservations are recommended to ensure your choice of boat type and time slot. Walk up reservations are available at the boat house.

    How to make an online boat rental reservation

    Reserve your boat rental online. Visit our boat reservation page and sign into your account or create an account if you do not have one.

    Helpful Hints:

    • Please double check your reservation date prior to completing the online transaction
    • If you need to reserve multiple boats at the same time or a rowboat for 4 hours or more, contact Heidi at
    • Reservations are recommended to ensure your choice of boat type and time slot. Walk up reservations are available at the boat house.

    Use the "Search" tab and select "Boat Search" under the Boat Rentals heading.

    In the Rental Search Criteria box enter the date you wish to reserve your rental and enter the type of boat you wish to rent. Select "Search" and a list of boats and the availability in one hour time slots will appear. Please note that sailboats are not currently available for rent. It may be a rental option in the near future.

    Choose the type slot you want and click the "+" button (will change to "-") and "Add to Cart".

    You will be asked to pick the family member that will be renting the boat, put a checkmark in the box and "Continue". Select one family member for the reservation. Complete the waiver form agreement and proceed. Proceed to checkout and complete your purchase.

    NOTE: There has been an upgrade to our software registration. If you have a credit on your account, the system will automatically apply the credit towards the purchase price. You will view this information during the check-out process.

    Type of Boat

    Hourly Fees

    Paddle boat

    Capacity: 4 people or 564 lbs



    Capacity: 4 people or 705 lbs



    As of Jun 8, sailboat rentals are not currently available.

    Email Heidi Stolt at for more info



    3 people or 400 lbs


    Single Kayak: 1 person, 300 lbs

    Double Kayak: 2 people or 500 lbs

    Triple Kayak: 3 people or 500 lbs


    Stand Up Paddle Board

    Capacity: 1 person, 300 lbs


    Dragon Paddle Boat
    Capacity: 5 people or 1400 lbs

    * To rent a sailboat, you must present a Park District sailing card, which can be obtained by taking our sailing program, or one from another reliable organization. Sailboat participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the sailboat.

    ** Half price, per hour, if rented for a minimum of 4 hours.


    Including wake/no-wake hours, speed limits, and lake usage stickers. Please note: the link above will take you to the City of Crystal Lake public document website

    general info for Crystal Lake BOAT OWNERS

    Update Sept 4, 2020

    All residents of the Crystal Lake Park District are eligible to boat on Crystal Lake. See Boat Gate Key Card information below. The Village of Lakewood and the City of Crystal Lake have a joint agreement for regulating and patrolling the lake. A copy of the Crystal Lake Boating and Safety Regulations as put forth by the Village of Lakewood can be found at the Village of Lakewood website.

    You must purchase an Annual Lake Usage Decal from the City of Crystal Lake.

    For those lakefront homeowners needing one time on/off ramp access, please coordinate a day and time with Park Services. The direct phone number is 815-477-5007.

    2020 Boat Launch Key Card

    Park District Residents Only

    Park District resident boat owners must purchase a new key card each year to use the Main or West Park launch ramps. All watercraft must enter through boat gate. Daily admission fees apply to the permit holder and all guests wanting to use the beach and/or swimming areas at Main or West Beach.

    Current Boat Gate Key Holders: 2020 keys will be deactivated April 30, 2021. Renewals begin May 1, 2021.

    New key purchases Nov 1, 2020-April 29, 2021: Half price

    Fee: $80 (Ages 18-59 ); $40 (Ages 60 +) Replacement Card: $15

    Required Documents: 2020 gate key ($5 discount if returned); Registration Form (see below); current boat registration and proof of residency.

    Keys are available for purchase at the Crystal Lake Park District Administration Office, 1 E. Crystal Lake Avenue (Hours: M-F 8:30-5 pm; Wed 8:30-6 pm; Sat (Apr-Jul) 9:30am-12 pm)

    Boat Gate Key Card Registration/Renewal Form

    Boat Launch Information Flyer

    Kayak & Stand up paddleboard owners

    In order to place your watercraft (i.e. jet skis, kayaks, stand up paddleboard inflatables, etc.) on Crystal Lake, from either a public or private launch site, the following criteria must be met:

    • You must be a resident of the City of Crystal Lake, the Village of Lakewood, or reside in the Crystal Lake Park District's boundaries.
    • The watercraft's registration must reflect the resident's name.
    • You must purchase an Annual Lake Usage Decal at Crystal Lake's City Hall.
    In order to launch onto Crystal Lake via the Main or West Beach boat launches. Please purchase a Boat Gate Key Card at the Crystal Lake Park District Admin Office (info above.) Please note: launch of any watercraft via Kamijima Park is prohibited.

    In order to purchase a boat gate key card, you must provide all the following documents in person at the Crystal Lake Park District Administrative Office:

    -Current Illinois Driver's License

    -Illinois Watercraft Registration Card / Paddle Pass

    -Application Fee (see above for amount)

    Attention Boat Gate Key Card Holders: We would like to make you aware of annual events that effect the MAIN BEACH boat launch area:

    Sunday, July 5, 2020- Fireworks-CANCELLED

    • Front gates will open at 9 am.
    • No one is allowed to reserve tables until after 9 am. Items on tables before 9 am will be removed.
    • For everyone's safety, picnic tables are not to be moved to another location of the park.
    • Regular Resident and Non-Resident admission applies until 2:30 pm. Starting at 2:30 pm, admission is $3/person.

    Saturday, July 25, 2020 - Cardboard Cup Regatta -CANCELLED

    • No parking in the Main Beach boat launch area until AFTER 11 am. Please park in the far back of Main Beach lot along the grass.
    • Registration for the Regatta will be taking place from 9 am - 11 am. Participants will be using the boat launch parking area to register and check-in their boats. Please try to avoid the launch during this time as it will be busy with registration.
    • West Beach launch will not be effected by this event.

    2020 West beach Watercraft Dry Storage

    Storage space is available: April 1, 2020-October 23, 2020

    Park District Residents Only

    Fee: $80

    The Park District has 18 boat stalls available for rental in the West Park dry storage compound. Registration for dry storage spaces begins April 1. Stalls will be leased on a first-come, first-served basis. Watercraft may be stored beginning April 1, and must be removed from storage on or before October 25.

    To rent a stall, you must provide the following documents in person:

    • Current Illinois Driver's License
    • Illinois boat registration card
    • $80 storage fee

    The storage fee includes a key for the compound, but does not include a key for the boat gate. Boaters wishing to access the lake must purchase a separate boat gate key.

    Staff Capacity:

    • One sailboat 16 feet or under that does not have a catamaran-style hull
    • OR, two kayaks or two canoes or two stand-up paddle boards
    • OR one row boat

    Dry Storage Information

    Sailing Lessons-Summer 2020

    During the summer season, the Crystal Lake Park District offers Private Sailing Lessons and Group Sailing Lessons.

    Anyone wishing to rent sail boat from the Crystal Lake Park District Boat House must present a sailing card from a Crystal Lake Park District course, or another reputable organization. Sailors may also present ownership papers of a sailboat to rent a boat on Crystal Lake. Passengers do NOT need to present card, only person sailing.


    Summer 2020 dates TBD

    To schedule lessons, first complete the Private Lesson Request Form and submit at least one week in advance of your preferred start date. For additional information, contact Heidi Stolt at

  • Fishing

    2020 Walk-In Fisherman Keys

    Available beginning Thursday, January 2, 2020 at the Administration Office

    Park District Residents Only:

    Fee: $30

    Please Note: Fee after Labor Day is half price

    The Park District offers gate keys to residents who want to fish at Main or West Park beaches before the parks open. Keys allow for entrance through the park's special walk-in gates. Watercraft are NOT allowed through the walk-in gate. All watercraft must enter thru boat gate. Daily admission fees apply to the key holder and all guests wanting to use the beach and/or swimming areas at Main or West Beach. In order to purchase a card, you must show proof of residency of the Crystal Lake Park District.

    Crystal Lake Park District Fishing Ordinance 11.17

    Fine $50/$75 per fish

    Wading into any park district body of water, other than Crystal Lake, to fish is prohibited. Fishing is allowed from shore or from piers installed for that purpose.

    A. All Illinois Department of Natural Resources Fishing Regulations will be enforced.

    B. Crystal Lake Park District (Crystal Lake and Park District Ponds)



    All Fish

    3 Poles and Line Fishing Only

    Channel Catfish

    6 Fish Daily Creel Limit

    Largemouth or Smallmouth Bass

    18" Minimum Length, 1 Fish Daily Creel Limit

    Walleye Pike

    18" Minimum Length, 2 Fish Daily Creel Limit

    Northern Pike

    24" Minimum Length, 2 Fish Daily Creel Limit


    48" Minimum Length, 1 Fish Daily Creel Limit

    Bluegill or Red Ear Sunfish

    15 Fish in Total Daily Limit

    Crappie-White or Black

    15 Fish in Total Daily Limit

    Yellow Perch

    15 Fish in Total Daily Limit

    C. All fish caught must be taken or released unharmed and in live condition subject to the provisions of this section.

    D. Each fish is a separate violation.

    E. This Fishing Ordinance will be enforced on all Park District bodies of water, including but not limited to:

    • Crystal Lake
    • Woodscreek Park
    • Four Colonies Park
    • Veteran Acres Park
    • Lippold Park
    • Sterne's Woods and Fen
    • Winding Creek Park
    • Willows Edge Park (both ponds)
    • Prairie Ridge Conservation Area
    Print Fishing Ordinance-page 9

    Crystal Lake Park District FiSH Stocking Program

  • Reservations and Group Outings

    May 22 Update: Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, please contact Heidi Stolt, Recreation Aquatics Supervisor at prior to booking any reservations or group outings.

    2020 Weekday Field Trips at Main or west beach

    Rate: $5 per person (minimum 12 people)

    Weekday Group Reservation Form required.

    field trip Reservation form

    2020 group reservations at Main or west beach

    Main Beach: Min guarantee: 25 people Max: 400 people

    West Beach: Min guarantee: 25 people Max: 50 people


    Resident Admission: $1/person. Each non-resident guest is $4 (children under 3 years and adults over 60 years are free)

    Non-Resident Admission or Corporate Group Admission: $7/person. Each resident guest is $1 (children under 3 years and adults over 60 years are free)

    Reserved picnic tables: $10 each; random picnic tables are on a first-come, first-served basis

    Additional Amenities: Notice required at least one week in advance

    Tents brought into beach: 10x10 or smaller pop up tents - no charge; Staked tents: $75

    **all staked tents require (5) day advance permission from Crystal Lake Park District staff due to limited areas that can accommodate stakes in ground.

    reservation form


    Guests may rent the Main Beach Pavilion or Band Shell for their special occasions. The Pavilion features 72" round tables, air temperature control, wood floors and LED light display. The band shell, nestled among the big oak shade trees on the north end of the park, provides the perfect backdrop for your event.

    Contact Lauren Thibodeau

    ----20 MB PICNIC RENTAL MAP rev 2-11-20.jpg

    Please note: picnic table reservation not accepted Tuesday evenings & holidays

  • swim area Rules

    1. No one may enter the water without a lifeguard in the stand. Swimmers must follow lifeguard's instructions.
    2. Swimmers must stay within the roped off area. Red Buoys indicate water over 3 feet deep. Blue Buoys indicate water over 5 feet deep.
    3. No floats allowed beyond 3 foot buoy line. Flotation devices must be inspected by staff to ensure proper type and U.S. Coast Guard approved. Personal flotation devices are on hand for swimmers to use.
    4. Patrons are to conduct themselves on the beach and in the water in such a manner as to not jeopardize the safety of him/herself or others.
    5. No diving allowed.
    6. No food or drink in the water.
    7. Children under the age of the age of 11 must be accompanied by a person 16 years of age or older.
    8. The lake water is not suitable for drinking. It is recommended swimmers shower and towel dry after leaving the water.
    9. All infants must wear rubber or plastic pants. All swimmers must wear proper swimwear. No street clothes allowed.
    10. Persons under the influence of alcohol or exhibiting erratic behavior will not be permitted in the beach area.
    11. Admission to the beach may be refused to all persons suspected to have contagious diseases or infectious conditions.
    12. Staff has the authority to implement and enforce rules that are stringent or that supplement those listed here.
    13. No pets allowed. Licensed service animals are exempt.
    14. Do not feed the geese or other wildlife.
    15. Obey lightning detection system rules for shelter.
    16. Grill equipment and supplies must be brought in through the front gate only. Only charcoal grills will be permitted.
    17. Drop-off catering supplies must be brought in through the front gate only.
    18. Tents should be no larger than an EZ-Up size, 10ft by 10ft.
    19. Beer and wine permitted in picnic areas only.
    20. Glass containers are not permitted on the premise.
    21. Use receptacles provided for trash, charcoal, and recycling.
    22. Crystal Lake Park District special events may restrict coolers in certain areas of the park.
    23. No riding of bicycles, skateboards, or roller skates allowed in the park.
    24. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
    25. Swim break rest periods are scheduled for 2:15PM and 4:15PM daily for everyone's safety. Additional rest periods may be run every hour on the hour depending on the temperature.
    26. All watercraft must go through the boat launch area with a purchased boat launch key card.
    27. Patrons are encouraged to protect themselves from sun exposure.
    28. Flagpoles located at Main and West Beaches carry color-coded weather flags. To help ensure your safety, please learn the meaning of the following flag colors and make it a habit to look for them while on the lake or at the beach.

      Green: Fair weather, light air, wind 1-10 m.p.h.
      Red: Beach Closed. KEEP OFF LAKE
  • Forms

    Forms can be downloaded via the links below, but registration is only accepted in person in the Administrative Office, 1 E. Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake

    Beach Pass Registration Forms

    Family Registration Form (printable, use for programs, events, services)

    Beach Group Reservation Forms

    Reservation Request

    Weekday Field Trip Reservation Request

    Main Beach Picnic Area Map


    Boat Rental Waiver