The perfect way to spend a fall day outdoors is at the McHenry County Conservation District's annual Trail of History from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, and Sunday, Oct. 21 at Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood.
Witness what life was like in the Northwest Territory from 1670 to 1850. Each step along the one-mile trail to the encampment takes you back in time.
If you goWhat: McHenry County Conservation District's Trail of History
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21
Where: Glacial Park, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood, off Route 31 between McHenry and Richmond
Admission: $5 in advance or $7 at the gate for adults; $2/$3 for seniors and children ages 6-12; free for children ages 5 and younger
Need to know: The admittance gate closes at 3 p.m. daily. There is a one-mile hike over hilly terrain to the encampment. There is a special needs parking area and shuttle for those unable to make the walk. Pets are not allowed.
Details: (815) 479-5779 or www.mccdistrict.org
This entertaining and educational re-enactment features more than 200 interpreters from across the country who demonstrate the crafts and trades from early settler days.
Experience a frontier school, log cabin living and Métis Village. Witness a voyageur landing, military tactics and Dr. Balthazar's traveling medicine show. Visitors can dress up in pioneer clothes, make corn husk dolls, try their hand at dipping candles or working the two-man saw.
A variety of musicians, dancers, jugglers and more will entertain young and old alike. Wander the numerous "trade tents," where vendors have historic items and souvenirs for purchase.
In addition, food vendors provide authentic culinary treats for purchase.
Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 12 and seniors 60 and older, and free for kids ages 5 and younger.
Entrance gates close at 3 p.m. to allow visitors time to make the one-mile walk to the encampment site. A limited special needs parking area is available. Pets are not allowed.
Glacial Park is on Harts Road, off Route 31, seven miles north of McHenry. For details, call (815) 338-6223 or visit www.MCCDistrict.org.
History of the event
The Trail of History is a living history interpretive event. Interpreters from across the country portray and demonstrate life as it was from 1670-1850 in the former Northwest Territory, which encompasses present day Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and portions of eastern Minnesota.
The event's focus is to show the interrelationship between nature, man and cultural development.
The first event occurred in 1989 and was named the Kames Rendezvous. In 1990, the event was renamed Trail of History to reflect the increased focus toward living history interpretation. Today, there are more than 150 encampments.
The Trail of History encampment is nestled at the foot of the glacial kames in the rolling terrain of Glacial Park. It occurs annually the third weekend in October just as the prairie grasses and trees display their colors.
The McHenry County Conservation District presents the Trail of History with the assistance of volunteers and re-enactors from across the country.