Get ‘wild’ this weekend with programs from the Will County forest preserve

Will County Inside/Outside Guide highlights local events and more

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s 2021 “Eagle Watch” is set for Jan. 9 at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. No indoor activities are planned due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but visitors can register for small guided hikes in advance, or take independent hikes through McKinley Woods preserve.

Welcome to The Herald-News’ Will County Inside/Outside Guide. Each week, Features Editor Denise M. Baran-Unland (@Denise_Unland61) highlights a few ideas for you to enjoy your weekend (and beyond) in Will County.

If the COVID pandemic and flu season wasn’t enough, January is also prime time for “cabin fever.”

Unlike the first two ailments, getting back to nature helps cabin fever – and the Forest Preserve District of Will County if offering three “remedies” this weekend.

Don’t like the cold and the snow? Don’t worry. One of the events takes place virtuallu.

Have breakfast with the turtles this Friday

Tune in at 8 a.m. as the turtles of Isle a la Cache in Romeoville munch on their breakfast.

With the camera pointed on the district’s live turtle exhibit, a naturalist in the background will share information about the turtles and answer your questions while you enjoy your breakfast and coffee.

Free, all ages. Register for the Zoom link at

2021 ‘Eagle Watch’ set for Saturday at Four Rivers in Channahon

The free, all-ages event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Four Rivers is located in McKinley Woods at 25055 W. Walnut Lane, off of Blackberry Lane south of Bridge Street.

Four small, guided hikes will be offered at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Register for one the hikes by Jan. 8 on the Event Calendar at

Or take an independent hike after asking a naturalist where the eagles like to perch along the river. Bald eagles are spotted regularly at Four Rivers because of its location near where the Des Plaines, DuPage and Kankakee Rivers meet to form the Illinois River.

Masks are required for outdoor program participants, except for those younger than 2 years old and those with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing one, per state guidelines.

In addition to McKinley Woods, eagles have been spotted in the north at Isle a la Cache in Romeoville, Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve in Plainfield and Whalon Lake in Naperville and out east at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve in Crete Township and Monee Reservoir in Monee Township.

‘Soup-er Chili: Hike to the Bridge’ program Saturday afternoon

Grab you hiking boots and come out to the Hickory Creek Preserve – LaPorte Road Access in Mokena from 1 to 3 p.m. this Saturday.

Oh, and bring your favorite mug and can of non-cream soup or chili.

Two pots will be bubbling on the fire – one for chili and the other for soup to add your contribution. They will simmer over an open flame while you and the other participants enjoy a 3-mile hike. When you return, fill your mug with the hot food.

Free, ages 10 or older. Register at or call 708-946-2216.

Thoughts? Drop me a line at