Take an invigorating hike this winter

Add a hike to a list of your to-dos, this winter. 

First up is our “Woodland Solstice” Hike. It’s your chance to give to Mother Earth and celebrate the return of the sun by restoring the habitat in the woods at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. After cutting and hauling brush, we’ll warm up by a campfire. Thursday, Dec. 21; 3-4:30 p.m. @ Creek Bend Nature Center.

Start the New Year on the right foot by coming along our “New Year’s Morning Hike.” On this special holiday, we’ll look for the first animal tracks made in the new year’s snow and discover surprises Mother Nature offers. There will be coffee and cocoa in the nature center, after the hike. Monday, Jan. 1; 9-10 a.m. @ Creek Bend Nature Center.

We have two special “Winter Wildlife Hikes,” this year! On these naturalist-guided hikes, we’ll look for signs of wintering wildlife and learn about their adaptations for surviving the cold. Tuesday, Jan. 2; 10:30-11:30 a.m. @ Creek Bend Nature Center & Thursday, Jan. 4; 4-5 p.m. @ Burnidge Forest Preserve.

Don’t forget about our “Winter Scavenger Hunts.” We’ll look for animal tracks, seeds, burrows, and much more. All ages welcome. Saturday, Feb. 3; 10-11 a.m. @ Elburn Forest Preserve & Sunday, Feb. 18; 10-11 a.m. @ Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve.

That’s not all! We have three “Trek with a Naturalist,” hikes for adults. Get your 10,000 steps in during these brisk hikes. The naturalist will interpret the ecology of the preserve, during the hike. Saturday, Dec. 9; 9-11 a.m. @ Freeman Kame Forest Preserve. Saturday, Jan. 6; 9-11 a.m. @ Dick Young Forest Preserve. Thursday, Feb. 15; 3:30-5:30 p.m. @ Aurora West Forest Preserve.

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