• Katie Wozniak

Fun Winter Activities Hosted by the Forest Preserve of Will County

The warm weather is coming to a close and families are preparing for a long winter indoors. Outdoor sports teams have moved inside and runners usually seen on the side of the road are now on the treadmill. This, however, does not have to be the case this winter. Thanks to the Forest Preserve of Will County, anyone is welcome to spend more time in the outdoors this winter through the numerous activities at each of the different forest reserves.

One of the activities that families can participate in during the winter months is sledding. Families are always out during winter break with their sleds and there are two great sledding hills in the forest preserves! The sled hill at Goodenow Grove has been open since December 1 (and if the proper sledding conditions permit). This hill is monitored by staff and sledding will only be permitted when weather conditions are passed by the park staff. To find out if the sled hill is open for business, call (708)-946-2216.

At the hill, sled tubes can be rented for $2 but guests can also bring their own sleds. Steel runners, snowboards or steerables are not allowed in the forest preserve. The second sled hill is in the Forked Creek Preserve, found in Wilmington, IL. This sled hill is not monitored by staff so it can be utilized when individuals believe conditions are appropriate.

Another activity families can partake in during the winter is snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a fun, free, and versatile way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter season. Snowshoeing extends your hiking or running season into winter. It lets you enjoy winter solitude and can be a social activity. Once you put on the snowshoes, it is easy to walk around in the snow and on the trails. Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete Township features five miles of trails on which to snowshoe. The nature preserve's Plum Creek Nature Center offers snowshoes for rental. If families need to rent snowshoes, it is $10 a day for the activity fee.

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