McHenry is a city located in McHenry County, Illinois, and serves as a suburb of Chicago. The city is situated about 50 miles northwest of Chicago and has a rich history that dates back to the 1830s. Originally, the area was settled by various families whose names like McCullom, McLean, Boone, and Wheeler are still prominent today. McHenry was named after Major William McHenry, a prominent U.S. Army officer in the Black Hawk War. The city was once the county seat of McHenry County, which also included the adjoining Lake County to the east.
Housing and Taxes
The median home price in McHenry is $320,000, and the average property tax is approximately $8,640. The average county tax rate is 2.70%, and the city is covered by the zip codes 60050 and 60051.
McHenry is located at coordinates 42.3334° N and -88.2668° W. The city has a total area of 15.175 square miles, of which 97.13% is land and 2.87% is water. The Fox River flows through the eastern portion of the city, and it is surrounded by natural features like lakes, streams, and moraine hills. Notable natural areas include Moraine Hills State Park, Glacial Park Conservation Area, and Volo Bog State Natural Area.
Climate and Weather
The climate in McHenry is similar to that of Chicago, although it can be warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. The all-time record high temperature is 103 °F, set on July 4, 1974, while the all-time record low is −30 °F, set on January 31, 2019.
Parks and Recreation
McHenry is home to Moraine Hills State Park, which offers many miles of hiking trails and connects to the Stratton Lock and Dam. Fishing is allowed at the dam with a valid license. The city also has several dozen parks and the Prairie Trail, a subsection of the larger Grand Illinois Trail, runs through the city.
Festivals and Events
The city is known for its Fiesta Days, a ten-day summer festival that includes music, parades, food, car shows, and more.
Schools and Education
McHenry is served by two school districts: McHenry Community High School District 156 and McHenry School District 15. The former oversees two high schools, while the latter oversees five elementary schools and three middle schools.
McHenry is the terminus of a branch line on Metra’s Union Pacific Northwest Line, providing weekday passenger service to Chicago. Major roads include Illinois Route 31 and Illinois Route 120. The city is also served by Pace Bus, connecting travelers to other cities in the area.
McHenry, Illinois, offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and community amenities, making it a desirable place to live. With its diverse population, rich history, and various recreational and educational opportunities, McHenry provides a well-rounded lifestyle for its residents.
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