Believe! Winter's elements will arrive

All that's missing is the white stuff to enjoy a host of outdoor activities

The weather hasn't been too frightful by December standards, but that's not so delightful for outdoor winter sports enthusiasts. Past experience strongly suggests the pattern will shift at some point. And when it does - bringing frozen expanses of ice and snow-blanketed landscapes - the Village of Hinsdale and area forest preserves have plenty of activities to warm up the cold. Here are some ways to beat cabin fever

Sharpen the skates

The village-operated rink at Burns Field, 320 N. Vine St., will open for use once weather permits (four to six consecutive full days of weather below 32 degrees). Once the ice is in place, posted signs will indicate if the rinks are open or closed. The rink is lit for evening activities, and warming house hours there are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays - supervised, with free hot chocolate and a fire. Hockey is permitted, and the park will close nightly at 10 p.m.

Updates on rink ice conditions will be provided on the village's website,, and its Facebook page, HinsdaleParksAndRecreation.

Tread the snowy woods

Explore Fullersburg Woods by snowshoes! Bring your own or rent a pair Monday through Saturday from December through February at the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, 3609 Spring Road, Oak Brook, when there's plenty of snow on the trails. Rentals are available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rentals end at 2 p.m.) and are $10 for two hours or $15 for the day. Call (630) 850-8110 for availability and visit for details.

Hit the (ski) trails

The DuPage County Forest Preserve District invites cross-country skiers to check out trails at its various properties. When conditions permit, staff members groom trails for classical and freestyle cross-country at the following sites:

Blackwell, Warrenville

Danada, Wheaton

Greene Valley, Naperville

Fullersburg Woods, Oak Brook

Herrick Lake, Wheaton

James "Pate" Philip State Park, Bartlett

Mallard Lake, Hanover Park

Meacham Grove, Bloomingdale

Springbrook Prairie, Naperville

St. James Farm, Warrenville

Waterfall Glen, Darien

Trail users are asked to take care not to damage tracks that have been set. Visit for maps. For information on trail conditions, call the district's outdoor report at (630) 871-6422 and press 3, then press 2.

Inflate your descent

Take a thrilling 800-foot ride down the Mount Hoy tubing hill at Blackwell Forest Preserve on Butterfield Road in Warrenville. It's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and school holidays when there's plenty of snow (usually more than 3 inches). Only forest district inner tubes are allowed. Inner tube rentals are at the base of the hill and are $10 per tube per day (rentals end at 3:30 p.m.). Pay with cash or credit card. Before heading out, check the @dupageforest Facebook page to find out if the hill open. Although it might close early due to extreme cold or severe weather. COVID-19 also may limit how many people are on the hill at a time.

Focus on fitness

Those looking for outdoor exercise this winter can join a Fitness Hike, featuring little to no stopping or interpretation, offered by the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

The first hike will be a 6-mile trek at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 5, at Brezina Woods north of La Grange Road, south of West Cermak Road near LaGrange Park, Register at

The second hike will be a 5.5-mile trek Thursday, Jan. 13, at Wolf Road Woods on Wolf Road south of 95th Street near Willow Springs. Register at

A third opportunity will be a 2- to 3-mile hike at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at Willow Springs Woods on Willow Springs Road southeast of Archer Avenue near Willow Springs. Register at

- compiled by Ken Knutson