Get out and enjoy Hike Lake County Challenge
The Lake County Forest Preserves has a challenge -- or seven of them -- for residents.
Grab your walking shoes and head to the trails to participate in the Hike Lake County program while enjoying fall breezes and autumn colors. Medical research shows that being outdoors in nature has many wellness benefits. Hike Lake County provides a way to get a dose of wellness while walking in a beautiful preserve.
Complete seven of 12 designated walks by Nov. 30 to earn a free commemorative shield for your walking stick or a zipper pull. Each year features new trails and a colorful new shield or zipper pull, while supplies last. Bicycling or horseback riding do not count toward the program.
At each preserve, look for Hike Lake County logo signs at the trailhead to get started on the right route.
To get started, every walker needs their own official travel log to record their routes. Canine companions can join in the fun and complete the hikes with their owners. Record their name on the travel log and the dog will receive a free commemorative dog tag (for up to three dogs). Dog owners can purchase an optional Hike Lake County dog collar to hang it on.
To receive your free dog tag, zipper pull or commemorative shield for a walking stick, submit your travel log online, bring it to the Hike Lake County Center, or mail it with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Lake County Forest Preserves, 1899 West Winchester Road, Libertyville, IL 60048. by Jan. 31, 2021. Stop by the General Offices in Libertyville to pick up your free commemorative materials weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The 2020 Hike Lake County locations include (trails 2 miles or longer count as two trails):
• Buffalo Creek, 18163 W. Checker Road, Long Grove; 1.9 miles
• Captain Daniel Wright Woods, 24830 St. Mary's Road, Mettawa; 2.4 miles
• Cuba Marsh, 24205 W. Cuba Road, Deer Park; 1.6 miles
• Ethel's Woods, 19330 Miller Road, Antioch; 1.3 miles
• Fort Sheridan, 117 Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, north entrance; 1.7 miles
• Grant Woods, 25405 W. Monaville Road, Ingleside, south entrance; 1.9 miles
• Greenbelt, 1110 Green Bay Road, North Chicago; 1.3 miles
• Lake Carina, 33919 Highway 21, Gurnee; 1.0 mile
• McDonald Woods, 19611 W. Grass Lake Road, Lindenhurst; 2.3 miles*
• Old School, 28285 St. Mary's Road, Mettawa; 1.3 miles
• Ray Lake, 23275 W. Erhart Road, Wauconda; 2.3 miles
• Van Patten Woods, 15838 W. Route 173, Wadsworth; 2.4 miles
• Wild Card -- You Pick, choose any Lake County Forest Preserve trail, 2 miles
Additional signs placed at trailheads remind preserve visitors to do their part and abide by rules put in place for public safety reasons to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Ranger Police closely monitor preserves and trails to ensure safety rules, social distancing and other public health guidelines are being followed as COVID-19 precautions continue. Check LCFPD.org/Covid for updates. Guidelines to keep in mind include:
• Bring your own alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) and face coverings.
• When arriving, if the parking lot is full, use the interactive trail map at maps.lakecountyil.gov/trailmap to find another nearby preserve.
• When in the parking lot, wait until the area near your car is clear of other nearby people before exiting or entering your car.
• Follow social distancing rules at all times by staying 6 feet apart.
• When on the trails, groups of two or more must break into single file and move to the right shoulder when approaching or passing others to allow for maximum physical distance.
• Where dogs are allowed, keep them leashed and on trails at all times, and pick up after them. Do not leave pet waste on trails or in parking lots.
• Call (847) 549-5200 if you spot anything you consider to be dangerous visitor behavior not in conformation to social distancing guidelines.
• Be respectful of the health of your fellow preserve visitors.