Too hot this weekend? Plan your autumn walking challenge

Will County Inside/Outside Guide offers suggestions for enjoying your weekend

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.

With more of the heat wave forecast for this weekend, stay inside and check out two programs to get you outside – and walking – on Wednesday.

Both the Forest Preserve District of Will County and Edward-Elmhurst Health are offering a way to exercise and enjoy autumn colors at the same time.

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s is hosting its “Woods Walk” hiking challenge against this year. And Edward-Elmhurst Health is joining a group of local organizations for the Second Annual Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge.

Both programs begin Sept. 1. Woods Walk ends Nov. 30. Healthy Drive Take a Hike! Challenge ends Oct. 27.

For Woods Walk, complete seven of the 10 pre-selected “Woods Walk” trails to receive a 2021 hiking medallion. But don’t stop at seven. Hike on all 10 for the fun (and fitness) of it.

To participate in the free, all ages program, pick up a “Woods Walk” travel log on or after Sept. 1 at one of five visitor centers: Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee Township, Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township and Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet.

Or visit ReconnectWithNature.org to access the log online.

For the Healthy Drive Take a Hike! Challenge, participates will earn a Trail Blaze Award (either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion) when the complete and track six hikes.

To sign up for weekly emails about special events, see an interactive hiking map and more, visit the Take a Hike! Challenge website at www.EEHealth.org/TakeAHike.

Here are the forest preserve’s “Woods Walk” trails:

Mokena: Hickory Creek Bikeway to Old Plank Road Trail, Hickory Creek Junction, 3.22 miles round trip

Plainfield: Lake Renwick Bikeway, Lake Renwick Preserve – Turtle Lake Access, 3.6 miles round trip

Custer Township, south of Wilmington: Evans-Judge Nature Trail, Evans-Judge Preserve: 1.5 miles round trip

Naperville: Normantown Trail, Vermont Cemetery Preserve, 2.95 miles round trip

Crete Township near Beecher: Scout Trail to Plum Creek Greenway Trail, Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, 1.5-mile loop

Joliet/New Lenox: Spring Creek Greenway Trail, Hadley Valley – Gougar Road Access, 2.62 miles round trip

Manhattan and Manhattan Township: Wauponsee Glacial Trail – Manhattan Road Access, 3.4 miles round trip

Park Forest and University Park: Thorn Creek Nature Preserve Trail, Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 1.95 miles round trip

Crest Hill/Joliet: Rock Run Greenway Trail, Theodore Marsh, 2.93 miles round trip

Channahon: Trail of the Old Oaks, McKinley Woods – Frederick’s Grove, 1.5 miles round trip

Thoughts? Drop me a line at dunland@shawmedia.com.