So many recreation opportunities are present to be enjoyed by the 70,000 people who call Cardunal country home that it might be called “Family Fun Land.” Recreation is one of the attractions that draws many to rent apartments or buy homes in the Cardunal area.
A prime recreation resource is the Fox River, which threads its way past most of the area communities, satisfying boating and water skiing enthusiasts. However, the Dundee Township Park District is the hub of recreation in the area. The district boasts 44 parks containing a total of more than 400 acres. The park district operates two 18-hole golf courses, a nursery and tree farm, a petting zoo, and a recreation and fitness center. Its parks contain such facilities as two swimming pools (one indoor); tennis courts; baseball, softball, football, and soccer fields; volleyball courts; and 17 playgrounds.
Dolphin Cove Family Aquatic Center, which stands adjacent to the district’s Recreation and Fitness Center, is the newest facility. Located at the junction of Routes 25 and 68 in Carpentersville, Dolphin Cove offers a big outdoor swimming pool, four water slides, a sand play area, two sand volleyball courts, plus a concession area.
The park district plans and conducts a year-round program of sports, recreation, fitness, and activities for residents of all ages. The program includes everything from swimming and golf lessons to gymnastics and dance, from summer camps and early childhood programs to special activities and events for senior citizens.
The district’s Senior Center, centrally located in the heart of Carpentersville, offers a comprehensive program that includes senior fitness, line dancing, and a variety of social events. The center organizes journeys to special places in the U.S. and Europe, plus day trips to regional sites. Dial-A-Ride service to the center is available. The Salvation Army Nutrition Program sponsors a hot lunch program at the center.
The district’s Recreation and Fitness Center is a fully equipped physical fitness facility. In addition to a completely outfitted exercise room, it has a whirlpool and sauna. The Fitness Center offers aerobics, lap swimming and water walking in an indoor pool, fitness evaluation and personal trainers, and jogging on an outdoor track. Its fieldhouse offers a gym for volleyball and basketball and four racquetball or wallyball courts.
In winter, ice skaters flock to the two rinks established by the park district. Throughout the year, ice skating or hockey is enjoyed at the Polar Dome Ice Arena in Santa’s Village theme park. The facility has an 85-foot by 180-foot rink complete with sound and light systems. Another wintertime favorite for area residents is the downhill skiing at nearby Bartlett’s Villa Olivia Country Club.
Popular summer attractions for family fun in the Cardunal area include Santa’s Village Theme Park, Racing Rapids Action Park, and miniature golf courses at Lighthouse Point in the Milk Pail Village and Fantasy Golf in Algonquin. Several horse stables and riding farms in the area are popular with equestrians.
The communities of the Cardunal area maintain municipal parks as well, further enhancing the recreational opportunities for area residents. In addition, there are several private health clubs offering complete exercise facilities.
Ten golf courses only a few minutes from home supply all the challenge and satisfaction required by the most avid golfers. Besides the two courses owned by the park district — Randall Oaks and Bonnie Dundee – golfers enjoy such courses as the Golf Club of Illinois in Algonquin, and Pinecrest in Huntley, plus private golf courses like Terrace Hill in Algonquin and Boulder Ridge in Lake In The Hills.
The 36-mile Fox River Bike Trail between Aurora and Crystal Lake is a summertime bicycling and jogging joy for many active residents of the Cardunal area. It’s also a winter wonderland for cross country skiers. The trail follows the meandering Fox River, passing through a forest preserve and by historic sites. At the south edge of West Dundee, a new bike trail bridge enables riders to cross over the river. Along the way, it’s possible to see white-tail deer, beaver, muskrat, redtailed hawks, indigo buntings, and other forms of wildlife in a rich rural habitat.
The Dundee Township Tourist Center in East Dundee, known as “The Depot,” is located on the Fox River Bike Trail on River Street. This convenient center offers drinking water, restrooms, snacks, and information. The street is home to summertime’s Farmer’s Market, held each Saturday.
Family camping is available in nearby forest preserves and area campgrounds. It’s only a short drive away from the Cardunal area to vacation lands like the Chain O’ Lakes region of northeastern Illinois. Just beyond is Wisconsin with its variety of vacation resorts and campgrounds.
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