Walking by woods on a spring day

Forest preserves, arboretum offer many reasons for walkers to step out into nature

 

Last updated 3/29/2023 at 3:22pm | View PDF

Woodcocks, chickadees and wildflowers are just three of the themes of spring walks talking place in nearby forest preserves or at the Morton Arboretum. (photos courtesy of the Cook County Forest Preserve District)

Walking offers a host of benefits, from getting the body moving to helping to clear the mind.

Thanks to folks at the DuPage and Cook County forest preserve districts and the Morton Arboretum, spring walks can be even more delightful - whether participants are interested in fitness, bird watching or other topics.

Find feathered friends

• Witness the amazing spring courtship flight of the male woodcock bird on this Woodcock Walk led by John Elliot of Chicago Audubon at 7 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Wolf Road Prairie, 31st Street west of Wolf Road near Westchester. Register by calling (708) 366-6530.

• Join an early morning bird walk from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 15, at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, 9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs. Call (708) 839-6897 to register.

• Walk with a naturalist and learn to identify birds by field marks, behavior, sound and habitat at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont. Walks are offered at 8:30 a.m. April 15, 19 and 26 and May 3, 6, 7, 10, 14 and 17. Binoculars will be available for loan. Call (630) 257-2045 for more information.

• Enjoy birding camaraderie and learn identification tips and tricks while looking for migrating birds on a casual 2-mile guided walk from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 28, at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Northgate Road just west of Cass Avenue in Darien. The walk is for ages 18 and older and costs $5 a person. Register at http://www.dupageforest.org or by calling (630) 933-7248.

Pick up the pace

• Gear up to enjoy a guided, quick-paced 3- to 5-mile forest hike from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Monday, April 3, at Blackwell Forest Preserve, Butterfield Road near Winfield Road, Warrenville, or from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 1, at Fullersburg Woods, 3909 Spring Road, Oak Brook.

The cost is $5 a person per hike. Register at http://www.dupageforest.org or by calling (630) 933-7248.

• Hike at least 3.1 miles at a fast pace during a hike that begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, at Country Lane Woods on 95th Street, east of Flavin Road/Willow Springs Road. Call (312) 533-5751 for details.

Sunrise, sunset

• Let the full moon be your guide as you walk in the largest Urban Night Sky Place in the world at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center. Call (708) 839-6897 to register.

• Discover what happens at the Morton Arboretum at night when no one is around while learning about night ecology, hearing stories of moon lore and enjoying the magic of nature at night during a Full Moon Guided Hike from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6. The arboretum is at 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The program is for ages 16 and up and costs $23 for guests, $16 for members. Visit http://www.mortonarb.org or call (630) 719-2468 to register.

• Join a "before hours" walk to experience the dawning of a new day at 5:45 a.m. Thursday, April 20, at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, 9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs. Register by calling (708) 839-6897.

Signs of spring and more

• How do plants and animals respond to the longer days? Join the Signs of Spring trail hike looking for signs of spring's arrival at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 West 111th St., Lemont. To register, call (630) 257-2045.

• Walk a short, looped trail and experience a story unfold with every step, then grab a craft to make at home from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at Bemis Woods South, on Ogden Avenue just west of Wolf Road near Western Springs.

• Enjoy a hike looking for wildflowers while learning to identify the ephemeral beauties at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 16, at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St., Lemont. The walk is for ages 12 and older. To register, call (630) 257-2045.

• Explore the ephemeral flowers of spring while walking the Morton Arboretum's trails with a natural history writer and master gardener. The walks are offered from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. April 20 and 29 and 5 to 7 p.m. May 4 at the arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The cost is $32 for guests, $15 for members per session. Register at http://www.mortonarb.org.

• Participate in a 2-mile "walk and talk" hike with a slower pace and a theme at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 20, at Willow Springs Woods on Willow Springs Road, south of South Archer Avenue near Willow Springs. Another "walk and talk" will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 4, at Bemis Wood North on Wolf Road south of 31st Street near Oak Brook. Call (312) 533-5751 for more information.

Author Bio

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean

 
 

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