When it comes to recreation, there’s plenty to do right here in Boone County.

Let’s start with golf. Swan Hills Golf Course, 2600 Gustafson Rd., Belvidere, opened in 1995 and offers one of the Midwest’s most desirable courses to play, with 168 acres of meticulously maintained fairways and greens and a completely tree-lined property. A creek runs through Swanhills and comes into play on several holes along with three ponds that challenge the accuracy of any golfer. The course has 16 sand bunkers that demand a little skill or luck. Number 8 is the course’s signature hole, nestled in a stand of trees, a creek just in front of the tees and all along the right.

Beaver Creek Golf Course, 19619 Le Roy Center Rd., Capron, is a good challenge for golfers of all abilities. The course opened in 1997 on 60 acres in rural Boone County. The nine-hole course has a total yardage of 3,033 yards with a creek winding throughout the course that comes into play on five of the nine holes. There are four sand traps and large greens. Beaver Creek has four holes over 350 yards.

Timber Pointe Golf Club, 5750 Woodstock Rd., Poplar Grove, is one of the most popular golf courses in northern Illinois. Situated on 160 acres, the course has five sets of tees on each hole, bent grass tees and greens, bluegrass fairways, 40 acres of established timber, 50 bunkers, four areas of water including a wildlife pond with cattails and plenty of prairie grasses, native grasses and wildflowers. There’s also a golf shop, practice facilities and The Grille restaurant.

In addition to great golf, Boone County offers many types of parks and recreation from a simple stroll or bike ride down the Long Prairie Trail, a border-to-border, 12-mile trail, to a cool and inviting swim at Belvidere Park’s William Grady Pool, which even has a separate, gated toddler pool.

Enjoy the Rivers Edge Recreation Center, which offers four recreation rooms, a full-size gym and a 35-foot-high climbing wall. Belvidere Park offers 105 acres containing six shelters, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts as well as ball diamonds, playgrounds and a fishing pier.

The Belvidere Park District has a Special Recreation Center dedicated to its Northlands Association for Special Recreation program, which helps residents with special needs to be able to have recreation in their lives. The Riverside Ice Arena is located within Doty Park in downtown Belvidere. The ice arena includes one NHL regulation ice rink and a warming house where skates can be rented and concessions can be purchased. The rink is typically available from November to early March, depending on weather. The rink is also home to the Belvidere Fury, a competitive hockey team made up of area high school athletes.

Prairie Fields Sports Park is on Business Route 20 between Fairgrounds Road and McKinley Avenue. It has six soccer/football fields, baseball diamonds, a walk/run/bike path, a playground, restrooms and a parking area. More development phases are planned for the future.

The beautiful Kishwaukee Riverfront Path extends from Belvidere Park through the downtown district. Residents can access boat and canoe launches through the park district. The park district also offers residents recreational programs and events, including preschool and after-school activities for children and adults.

The Boone County Conservation District provides educational and recreational programs and special events year-round. Conservation areas, throughout the county offer opportunities for recreational activities such as bicycling, hiking, wildlife observation, canoeing/kayaking, picnicking, hunting and fishing. The Autumn Pioneer Festival and 1800s Holiday Walk living history events showcase Boone County history and are free to the public. The Roger D. Gustafson Nature Center is at 603 N. Appleton Rd. in Belvidere.

Other area parks include the Capron Lions Park and the Poplar Grove Lions Park, both situated in the northern part of the county. Nearby Rock Cut State Park offers more than 3,000 acres of land available for fishing, hiking, swimming, camping, snowmobiling and horseback riding. Residents can take advantage of area golf courses, a driving range and numerous campgrounds.

Looking for a workout or just want to have some fun? Check out local fitness clubs Anytime Fitness and Pro Fitness & Gym, as well as recreation centers in Boone County.

The Belvidere Family YMCA is your one-stop place for family fun. The Belvidere Y has been serving the community for more than 115 years. The Y boasts a 35,000-square-foot facility featuring a wellness center, gymnasium, competition sized pool, sauna and social room.  Join the Y for a variety of fitness classes, school-aged child care, sports leagues and camps, swim lessons, adult aquatic classes, birthday parties, teen nights, family carnivals and more. Babysitting services are available for members.

The Y offers scholarship assistance for membership and youth recreation opportunities. The Y also accepts YWCA Child Care Assistance Program funding. The Y is here to support the community through healthy living, youth development and social responsibility.

And if bowling is more your thing, check out Concordia and Dodge Lanes located in Belvidere.