Now is time to get in on the outs

Fall is an ideal season to take advantage of comfortable temps, lovely vistas


Last updated 10/2/2019 at 4:10pm | View PDF

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Don't let that little nip in the air discourage you. October is the perfect time of year to soak up the suburb's natural surroundings without summer-level concerns about sunburn (still use sunscreen!) or insect bites (still pack the bug spray!). The forest preserve districts in DuPage and Cook counties offer a harvest of activities to help residents get out of doors before Old Man Winter compels us to seek indoor amusements. Many programs are free but may require registration. Those with fees are so noted.

Take a hike

• Check out the geology of northeast Illinois with a hike through Sagawau Canyon at 10 a.m. Sundays, Oct. 6 or 13. The hike will depart from the Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont, and will take participants over rough terrain, including wading through a stream. Registration begin the Monday prior to the program. Call (630) 257-2045 or visit

• Join Fitbit Local Ambassadors for a Swallow Cliff Hike, an all-levels hike, bodyweight boot camp and yoga/stretch from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Swallow Cliff Woods-North at Calumet Sag Road and Route 83, just west of La Grange Road/96th Street, near Palos Park. All levels are welcome, and there will be plenty of Zico coconut water to keep everyone hydrated during the workout. Plus, one lucky attendee will win a Fitbit tracker or smartwatch or an LL Bean gift card. To register, visit

• Drink in the sunset from 190 feet above the surrounding landscape at Sunset Hike at the scenic overlook from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Greene Valley Forest Preserve, Greene Road just south 79th Street, Naperville. The program is for all ages; those under 18 must be with an adult. The gates to the overlook will close at 4:15 p.m. to limit dust and distractions. The cost is $5 per person. To register, call (630) 933-7248 or visit

Paddles & bows

• Enjoy the fall oaks from a different point of view while paddling across Herrick Lake at Kayaking: Oak Reflections from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve on Butterfield Road, 1 mile west of Naperville Road in Wheaton. Learn paddling strokes and safety tips. All equipment is provided. The program is for ages 12 and up; those under 18 must be with an adult. Participants should dress to get wet; water, sunscreen, bug spray, extra shoes and a towel are recommended. Park on the east side of the lot and meet at the boat-rental building. The cost is $20. To register, call (630) 933-7248 or visit

• Take advantage of the school holiday with a little target practice at Archery: Families from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 14, at Blackwell Forest Preserve, Butterfield Road just west of Winfield Road, Wheaton. Participants will learn basic techniques and safety essentials. Equipment will be provided. The program is for ages 8 and up; those under 18 with an adult. Enter off Butterfield Road and follow the signs to the archery area. Participants must arrive in time for the safety instructions at the start of the program. Loose clothing is not recommended and long hair should be secured. Water and sunscreen are recommended. The cost is $5 per person. To register, call (630) 933-7248 or visit

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Drop a line

• Everyone in the family can learn fish ecology and identification as well as angling techniques and regulations at Fishing: Families from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve, 2403 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove (the entrance is on Route 53 just south of Butterfield Road). Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, but a limited supply will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bait will be provided. The program is for ages 8 and up; those under 18 must with an adult. The cost is $5 per person. Water, sunscreen and bug spray are recommended. To register call (630) 933-7248 or visit

• Join the village of Palos Park and the Cook County Forest Preserve District for a family-fun day at the Fall Fishing Derby from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at Horsetail Lake on 104th Avenue north of McCarthy Road near Palos Park. Participation is free. For more information call (708) 386-4042 or

• The fall trout season opens Saturday, Oct. 19, and anglers are invited to bring their fishing gear to Silver, Grove and Pickerel lakes located within Blackwell, Wood Dale Grove and Pratt's Wayne Woods forest preserves, respectively. Fishing hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. All ages are welcome; those 16 and older must carry a valid Illinois fishing license with inland trout stamps. For more details, call (630) 933-7248 or visit

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 630-323-4422, ext 103


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