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McHenry County Location and Transportation


McHenry County is one of the five “collar counties” surrounding the city of Chicago. The population of McHenry County has grown from 111,555 in 1970 to over 270,000, according to the 2002 census estimate, with a land area of approximately 610 square miles. Many waterways, tollways, and highways are accessible throughout the county, making it easy for residents and tourists alike to travel throughout the area.

Travel is ideal throughout McHenry County, with easy access to lakes, shopping, parks, bowling alleys, miniature golf courses, movie theatres, and much more.

Three major state highways are within reach - north/south Rt. 31, north/south Rt. 47 and east/west Rt.120. Route 120 intersects with U.S. 12, which connects with Interstate 290 to the south, giving residents and tourists easy access to the great city of Chicago.

Route 31 carries traffic south and links with Interstate 90 on the north side of Elgin. To the north, Route 31 intersects with Route 12, leading to the Wisconsin border.

O’Hare International Airport and Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport are both about an hour’s drive and are easily reached by car. Midway Airport is approximately 1.5 hours away from McHenry County. Private and small corporate aircraft are based at Lake in the Hills and Galt Airports.


Heading for Chicago, enjoy a comfortable ride aboard a METRA commuter train leaving from Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Harvard, McHenry and Woodstock. Metra provides service to the City of Chicago.

PACE buses provide transportation to destinations throughout the county.

Numerous carriers provide motor freight transportation to area businesses and industries. The Chicago Northwestern Railroad main line also serves McHenry County.

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