The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

Current Headlines

‘Woods Walk’ Hiking Challenge Has Begun



Photo for: ‘Woods Walk’ Hiking Challenge Has Begun

Centennial Trail. (Photo by Chad Merda)

Fall is the time of year when we yearn for the sounds of hiking boots crunching on a trail, or sneakers padding along on a paved path.

That’s why the Forest Preserve District’s “Woods Walk” comes at the perfect time of the year to enjoy cooler temperatures and the splendor of fall color. This popular hiking challenge is self-paced, so you can plow through the list of trails like a champ or mosey through the treks at your leisure.

The 2020 program began September 1 and runs through November 30. “Woods Walk” hiking guides will be available at the Forest Preserve District’s visitor centers. This year an enhanced digital version of the hiking guide has been posted at willcountywoodswalk.com. You can log your progress by checking off which trail you've completed and even submit your trail observations online.

Hike seven of this year’s designated trails and record the trips in your hiking guide to receive a collector's medal for your hat, backpack or walking stick. This year’s medal design honors the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

“People love Woods Walk because it takes them out of their normal routines and gets them to locations and sites they may not have ever considered visiting,” said Ben Hecke, the Forest Preserve’s community partnerships and outreach coordinator. “Participants are constantly amazed by the varied biological ecosystems that can be found in different parts of the county, including the savannas, prairies, forests, barrens and wetlands.”

Many loyal "Woods Walk" fans have tackled the challenge each year it has been offered.

"And they love to look back at their accomplishments over the years with their collection of participant medals,” Hecke added. 

This year's “Woods Walk” challenge trails are:

  • Centennial Trail – Schneider’s Passage, 3.02 miles
  • DuPage River Trail, Whalon Lake, 2.06 miles
  • I&M Canal State Trail, Lower Rock Run Preserve – I&M Canal Access, 2.96 miles
  • I&M Canal Trail, Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, 3.04 miles
  • Kankakee Sands Trail, Kankakee Sands Preserve, 2.97 miles
  • Old Plank Road Trail, Hickory Creek Preserve – Hickory Creek Junction, 3 miles
  • Plum Creek Greenway Trail, Plum Valley Preserve – Burville Road Access, 2.04 miles.
  • Spring Creek Greenway Trail, Hadley Valley Preserve – Bruce Road Access, 3.02 miles.
  • Spring Creek Greenway Trail, Messenger Marsh, 2.47 miles.
  • Wauponsee Glacial Trail, Sugar Creek Preserve, 3.04 mile.

 

Look for “Woods Walk” signs along designated trails and bring your camera along to snap photos that could be entered in the District’s Preserve the Moment photo contest.

Hiking guides can be picked up at five Forest Preserve visitor centers: Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee Township, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township, and Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet.

DOWNLOAD A PRINTED VERSION OF THE GUIDE

To receive your collector's medal, completed trail logs must be submitted by December 31. For instructions or more details, pick up a hiking guide or visit the online hiking guide site.

“Woods Walk” is sponsored by The Nature Foundation of Will County

____________

Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.

News

Stone Repair Work Begins Monday at Messenger Woods

10/23/2020

Use caution on the trail at Messenger Marsh preserve starting Monday, October 26, as workers will be using dump trucks and tractors to drop crushed limestone onto the trail.

Read More


COVID-19 Mitigation Measures go into Effect Friday

10/21/2020

Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people and all program participants and facility visitors will be required to wear face masks starting Friday and until further notice to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus in Will County.

Read More


Mysterious, Night-Dwelling Owls May Just Be The Coolest Birds Around

10/20/2020

Just in time for the lineup of fall and winter owl programs, the Forest Preserve's Bob Bryerton tells us why owls are such fascinating creatures and why we just can't learn enough about these stealthy, winged beasts. 

Read More


Sign up for a Newsletter