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  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.

Forest Preserves of Cook County Announces Winter Schedule

Monday, December 05, 2016
Special to
by Forest Preserve

For Immediate Release

December 5, 2016

Forest Preserves of Cook County Announces Winter Schedule

The Forest Preserves of Cook County Winter 2016-2017 Programs and Events schedule is now available. Wintertime brings numerous family-friendly ways to get outdoors to enjoy the Forest Preserves, providing visitors opportunities to experience fun activities including sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and more.

Throughout the winter, visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing in all parts of the Forest Preserves, except for golf courses and nature centers, from sunrise to sunset. Beginning December 17 and conditions permitting, Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W. 111th St. in Lemont, will offer a complete Nordic Ski Program, including groomed trails, equipment rentals and beginner lessons.

The Forest Preserves offers nine different sledding and coasting hills for the 2016-2017 season. Dan Ryan Woods, Caldwell Woods, Deer Grove Picnic Grove #5, Westchester Woods and Swallow Cliff offer sledding with lighting from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Pioneer Woods, Ted Lechowicz Woods, Schiller Woods and Deer Grove Picnic Grove #4 offer sledding without lighting from 10 a.m. to sunset. Nearly all sledding hills are open when there is at least 3 inches of snow on frozen ground; Swallow Cliff requires at least 6 inches of snow on frozen ground. To learn more, visit

Our six Nature Centers are a great place for free educational fun along with a number of other events and activities which are planned in the Preserves throughout the season. With nearly 70,000 acres of land and various habitats such as forest woodlands, wetlands, prairie and savanna, winter also provides an excellent opportunity to bird and wildlife watch, practice photography, and appreciate the variances of Cook County’s different landscapes under a soft blanket of snow.

For a complete list of winter activities, locations and rules, visit For a full list of events in the Forest Preserves, visit


·Christmas Past

Visit our pioneer cabins as we celebrate this joyous time of year in a simpler way with homemade toys, chestnuts roasting and popcorn popping in the open fire. Everyone is invited to make a craft to take home.

Sunday, Dec 11 • 11 am – 3 pm

Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave, South Holland

·Black History Month: Underground Railroad Hike

Join us to learn about Black History Month with an educational display and interactive history hike. An imaginary journey follows an Underground Railroad route used in Illinois in the mid-1800s.

Sunday, Feb 26 • 11 am – 3 pm

Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave, South Holland

·Winter Breakout Adventures

Dash through the snow and have fun during the winter holiday season. Embrace your time off from school and head out to the Forest Preserves campgrounds for an exciting day of winter games and activities. Sledding and snowshoeing is a definite must—snowfall permitting. Call 708-386-4042 for details. Continue the adventure and reserve a cabin or bunkhouse to experience winter camping. Overnight campers will have the opportunity to enjoy an evening campfire, hike and star gazing. For campground reservations, please call 1-855-YES-CAMP or visit

oWednesday, Jan 4 • Noon – 5 pm

Camp Sullivan, 14630 Oak Park Ave, Oak Forest

oThursday, Jan 5 • Noon – 5 pm

Camp Reinberg, 1801 N Quentin Road, Palatine

·Winter Exploration Days

Get out to your local forest preserve and explore the natural beauty of winter! Each special event offers activities to prepare you for a delightful wintertime experience. Learn how to navigate using new-found orienteering skills, create snowshoes and backpacks from natural materials and track animals that make the Forest Preserves their home during winter. Snowshoeing and sledding will be available, should weather conditions permit. Please join us for one or all events! For further details, call 708-386-4042.

oSaturday, Jan 14 • Noon – 4 pm

Caldwell Woods Warming Shelter, 6350 W Devon Ave, Chicago

oSaturday, Jan 28 • Noon – 4 pm

Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion, 87th & Western Ave, Chicago

oSaturday, Feb 11 • Noon – 4pm

Thatcher Woods Pavilion, 8030 W Chicago Ave, River Forest

oSaturday, Feb 25 • Noon – 4 pm

Rolling Knolls Forest Preserve, 11N260 Rohrssen Rd, Elgin

·Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Join us for a day of stewardship. Try your hand at restoration by helping remove invasive plants while learning about efforts being made to maintain healthy habitats. Warm up with a hot drink and a brush pile burn while also enjoying some winter family-fun activities. Groups with over 10 people, please register in advance with

Monday, Jan 16 • Noon – 3 pm

Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion (Groves 6-9), 87th & Western, Chicago

·Surf The White Winter Wave

Don’t let the weather get you down! Join us for a Polynesian spin on winter by skiing the “frozen wave” our winter storms leave in their wake. After skiing, relax and enjoy surfing videos and live updates on surf conditions from Oahu’s North Shore. Dress Hawaiian and win a prize! Event will take place if ski trails are open.

Saturday, Jan 21 • 9 am – 3 pm

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W 111th St, Lemont

·Birch Leggings and The Birkie

How did an infant prince from the 12th century inspire the world’s most famous Nordic ski race? Learn the history of the Birkebeiner Ski Race and how it became “the greatest show on the snow.” Ski with wood skis and wool knickers or dress like a Viking and win a prize! Event will take place if ski trails are open.

Saturday, Feb 18 • 9 am – 3 pm

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center, 12545 W 111th St, Lemont

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