Active offerings really springin' up

The Community House, forest preserves provide ways to get out and get moving

March has roared onto the scene as the 2021 calendar seems to quicken its gait. The awakening from our winter hibernation has many of us eager to shed those winter layers and get some exercise. The organized opportunities to do so are plentiful in the area, whether through competing in a sport or communing with nature. Here are a few activities to consider.

Pick up pickleball

Two pickleball programs are being offered by The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., to help aspiring players and veterans sharpen their game.

The Learn to Play Pickleball Workshop will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 16-25. The class, limited to four players, will teach the basic rules, strokes, scoring and strategy of the "fastest growing sport in America."

The Pickleball Workshop - Improving Your Game will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 16-25. The workshop is limited to three players and will focus on active, fun and purposeful drills matched to one's skill level.

Participants in either workshop need to bring their own paddles. The cost is $100, $90 for Community House keyholders. Call (630) 323-7500 or visit to register.

Work out with a walk

Let nature help you shape up with these high-energy hikes sponsored by the Cook County Forest Preserve District at the nearby Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, 9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs.

• Having Fun Getting Fit in the Forest at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 6, is a self-led hike that will take participants along the 1-mile White Oak Trail to help inspire and support good health. Ten stations will be set up along the trail with suggested physical movements, mimicking something from nature, that will help to enhance the fitness aspect of the hike.

• Join the Fitness Hike at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 10, for a self-led 3-mile fitness hike on the Palos Yellow Unpaved Trail to reach Tomahawk Slough and end back at Little Red Schoolhouse. Learn about all the different trail systems and what they have to offer while also getting a workout in nature.

• The Live Healthy, Discover Nature Hike at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 21, will tap into the health benefits nature provides and promote being active in the forest with a vigorous hike along White Oak and Black Oak Trail. The trek is part of the Little Red Schoolhouse's monthly hiking club series. Those ages 12 and older are welcome, and the pace is brisk.

Registration is required for all of the hikes, and participants must wear masks and practice physical distancing.

To register, call (708) 839-6897 or visit

Spring break sports

• Kids ages 7-12 can prepare for the upcoming baseball and softball seasons in the Pitcher, Catcher and Infielder Skills Camp to be held from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday to Friday, March 29-April 2 at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., Hinsdale. Infielders will work on positioning, footwork and double plays. Pitchers will develop the form needed for power and arm protection - boys learn the rocker step and age-appropriate grips and girls learn the windmill form of pitching and different grips. Catchers will learn pitch framing and techniques to throw out base runners. The cost is $60 for Hinsdale residents and Community House keyholders. Call (630) 323-7500 or visit to sign up.

• Chicago Elite Youth Volleyball Spring Break Camp is for aspiring players ages 6-14 and will introduce the game of volleyball as well as continue to improve campers' individual skill development in areas such as passing, setting, attacking, blocking, serving, defense and movement. The camps meets from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, March 29-31, at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., Hinsdale. Players will be divided by skill level and age and challenged accordingly. Campers are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. The cost is $90 for Hinsdale residents and Community House keyholders. Call (630) 323-7500 or visit to sign up.

Hit the season running

The Road Less Traveled Race Series comes to the western suburbs with an individual half-marathon at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 27, at Columbia Woods, Willow Springs and Corcoran roads, Willow Springs. The race series, sponsored by GumboFit, aims to bring the Chicago running community together and raise funds for Black-run clubs to help bridge the worlds of underrepresented populations and the fitness mainstream through a diversity of programming and content curation. All members of the community are invited to participate. Public health guidelines to provide a safe, healthy, and enjoyable race for all participants and volunteers will be followed. The cost is $110; payments are non-refundable and non-transferable, and they will be donated in the event that the race is canceled due to COVID-19-related restrictions. To register, visit and type "Road Less Traveled Race Series" in the search bar.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean