Beaches

  • Map of Crystal Lake and Nearby Parks


    We look forward to your visit to the beach

    for the 2020 Beach Season!


    2020 Beach OPerations

    Update: July 1, 2020

    We have received approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the McHenry County Department of Public Health to open Main Beach on Mon, July 6. Hours of operation listed below. Due to distancing and capacity guidelines provided by CDC and IDPH, we will be opening with a reduced capacity. In order to accommodate new capacity limits, Main Beach will be open to Crystal Lake Park District residents only until 2 pm. Proof of residency will be required for admittance. After 2 pm residents and non-residents will be granted entrance. Additionally, we will not be admitting scheduled field trips, prearranged picnic reservations, and given the limited capacity resident entry is on a first come first serve basis.

    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


    Location

    Main Beach Swim Area

    300 Lakeshore Drive

    Crystal Lake

    815.477.5404

    West Beach Swim Area

    2330 Lake Avenue

    Crystal Lake

    closed for summer 2020

    Season Hours July 6-Aug 9 (7 days/week)
    9 am-Dusk
    closed for summer 2020
    Post Season Hours Weekends only
    Aug 15 & 16, Aug 22 & 23
    Aug 29 & 30, Sep 5 & 7
    *days will depend on 2020-21 D 47 calendar
    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.

    BEACH CLOSING UPDATES

    View beach updates from McHenry County Department of Health.

    WEST BEACH is listed as WEST PARK BEACH

    MAIN BEACH is listed as LAKE PARK BEACH

    CLOSING UPDATES


    BEACH ADMISSION

    2020 DAILY BEACH FEES- RESIDENT

    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

    Price

    Park District residents

    $1

    Park District resident senior citizen

    (ages 60 & older)

    FREE

    Park District resident child

    (ages 3 & under)

    FREE

    Twilight Rate

    (begins at 5 PM)

    FREE

    Parking FREE

    2020 RESIDENT SEASON BEACH PASS

    Beach Passes are available at the Administration Office, 1 E. Crystal Lake Avenue, Crystal Lake (beginning Mon, July 6) 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

    Price

    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

    $7

    Resident Season Beach Pass replacement

    $5


    2020 DAILY BEACH FEES / NON-RESIDENT

    Non-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

    Price

    Non-Resident Adults (age 16-59 years)

    $12

    Youth (age 4-15 years)

    $8

    Seniors (age 60 & older)

    $8

    Ages 3 & under

    FREE

    Twilight Rate (begins at 5 PM)

    1/2 price admission

    Parking FREE

    2020 NON-RESIDENT SEASON BEACH PASS

    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


  • As of June 1, 2020 Boat Rentals at Main Beach are now available

    Hours of Operation

    10 am-7 pm (last rental goes out at 6 pm)

    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.

    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 website crystallakeparks.org 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 Lindsey at lpollina@crystallakeparks.org
    • 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

    $10

    Canoe

    Capacity: 4 people or 705 lbs

    $10

    Sailboat*

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

    Email Heidi Stolt at hstolt@crystallakeparks.org for more info

    $12

    Rowboat**

    3 people or 400 lbs

    $10

    Single Kayak: 1 person, 300 lbs

    Double Kayak: 2 people or 500 lbs

    Triple Kayak: 3 people or 500 lbs

    $10

    Stand Up Paddle Board

    Capacity: 1 person, 300 lbs

    $12

    Dragon Paddle Boat
    Capacity: 5 people or 1400 lbs
    $12

    * 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.


    RULES AND REGULATIONS

    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


    Boating for Crystal Lake BOAT OWNERS

    Update June 9, 2020

    All 2019 gate key cards will be deactivated on June 19, 2020. The 2020 gate key will be active through April 30, 2021.

    Stop by the Drive Up Window at the Crystal Lake Park District Administrative Office to purchase/replace your new gate access key fob.

    Fee information and printable registration form are available below. Bring your 2019 key card (received $5.00 off), the current boat registration(s) and proof of residency.

    The drive-up hours are: Monday-Friday 8:30 am-Noon

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

    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.

    2020 Boat Launch Key Card

    With the Governor's Executive Order now allowing boating, boat gate launch keys will be on sale beginning Mon, May 4 for limited hours at the Administration Building drive-through only. The hours for boat gate launch keys will be Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-noon.

    The Boat Gate key card registration form and guidelines can be found below.


    Park District Residents Only

    Fee: $80, Seniors 60 & older half price, bring in your 2019 key card to receive a $5 discount.

    Please Note: Fee after Labor Day is half price.

    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.

    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 drive up window (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.

    Sailboat Rental Dates and Private Sailing Lesson info coming soon. Contact Heidi Stolt at hstolt@crystallakeparks.org for more information.


    PRIVATE/SEMI-PRIVATE SAILING LESSONS (Ages 13 & Up)

    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 hstolt@crystallakeparks.org.



  • 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)

    Species

    Limitations

    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

    Muskellunge

    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 hstolt@crystallakeparks.org 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

    MAIN BEACH PAVILION & BAND SHELL

    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

    Boating

    Boat Rental Waiver

    MAIN & WEST FACILITY REntal INFO