Take It Outside

We want you to Take It Outside!

No matter the season, there is plenty to explore in the great outdoors! We want you to spend the year taking it outside, exploring new and familiar places in the name of embracing nature and all it has to offer.  

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll on a trail near your home, a multi-mile bike ride that takes you to places unknown or a program that kicks you into a new gear or winds you down, the Forest Preserve District hopes to spark your trek into nature.

Need a little motivation? Go on a wild goose chase through our interactive challenge.

Looking to try something new this year? Or maybe you need a new place to explore? Check out these recreation ideas to get you moving: 


A woman and two sons standing in front of a trailhead sign

Families tackling challenge to bond ... and win

Families that are tackling the Forest Preserve District’s yearlong Take It Outside Challenge together say it is firing up their competitive spirit and boosting bonding time.

Read more >>>

The best places to hike in Will County

Hitting the trails is an easy way to explore nature, and the preserves include more than 125 miles of trails traversing every kind of habitat. Check out some of our favorites. 

Read more >>>

One man's quest to navigate his hometown river

Dan Witte has spent his entire life a stone's throw from the Des Plaines River, but it wasn't until recently that he decided to really familiarize himself with it.

Read more >>>

Visit these preserves for stroller-friendly hikes

Whether you need a paved trail so you can bring a stroller or you’re just looking for place to spend time exploring with little ones, the forest preserves are full of options.

Read more >>>




Can you conquer the Triple Crown Challenge?

We’re challenging local hikers to complete our version of a Triple Crown by hiking Will County’s three longest trails, totaling 49 miles in all, before June 30.  

Read more >>>


Skip sunbathing and try forest bathing instead

Forest bathing doesn't have the same ring to it as sunbathing, but if you're looking for an activity that's good for your body, mind and spirit you might want to give it a try.

Read more >>>

Monee Reservoir: A hotspot for people and wildlife

With its 46-acre lake, Monee Reservoir is a popular destination for local anglers, but that’s not the only draw. The preserve is also a great place for birding, with more than 120 bird species recorded there, and it’s a great place to just sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Need a snack or some bait for your fishing trip? The concession stand at the visitor center is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from March to October. Hours vary by season. 

Read more >>>

Rock Run Preserve: 
See spring shine

Spring is springing all around us, and Rock Run Preserve is a good place to watch it all happen. The 320-acre preserve includes several miles of trails where you can watch wildlife spring into action after the long winter and see trees and plants green up for the season. Swing by the pond to see turtles basking and birds of all varieties singing their songs.

Read more >>>

Forked Creek Preserve: A spot to see the seasons change

Tucked in the southern end of the county is Forked Creek Preserve, a great place to watch as winter gives way to spring. Take a short walk to experience wildlife through varied habitats, or pack a picnic for a relaxing lunch. Forked Creek has three access areas in Wilmington: Ballou Road Access, Butcher Lane Access and Forsythe Woods.

Read more >>>


Funding for this campaign is provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County