With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, Cook County residents may be contemplating how to plan a special day while following public health guidelines. From walks in the woods to learning about the mating habits of native wildlife, there are plenty of ways to spend time with loved ones in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
This Valentine’s Day consider bundling up and taking a walk in nature. There are more than 350 miles of paved and unpaved trails in the Forest Preserves. While walking the trails and exploring the preserves, lovebirds can view magical winter scenes, where even a light dusting of snow transforms Cook County’s landscapes into picture-perfect winter wonderlands. Use the Forest Preserves’ interactive Web Map to find a nearby trail.
Looking to get your heart aflutter? Take loved ones out to enjoy exciting winter recreation like sledding, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (conditions permitting). There are seven sledding hills available throughout the Forest Preserves. And most of the Forest Preserves’ nature centers offer snowshoe rentals free of charge. Sagawau Environmental Learning Center becomes Sagawau Nordic when snow conditions allow, providing cross-country ski rentals and lessons. Learn more on the Sagawau Nordic Page.
Several of the Forest Preserves’ nature centers are also hosting Valentine’s Day-themed events and programs:
- Children’s Animal Valentine Card Craft Pick Up: Thursday, February 11-Sunday, February 14; 9 am-4 pm. Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave, River Forest. Create a cute animal Valentine’s Day card to give to an animal at Trailside or to your Valentine! Pick up a bag at the Museum with all the materials you need except crayons, glue and scissors.
- Valentines Forest Bathing: Thursday, February 11; 1 pm. Zoom Presentation. Explore the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing and learn techniques that will help deepen your connection and love for one another during this webinar. Registration required at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/136458082799.
- Animals in Love: Sunday, February 14; 1:30 pm. Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave, South Holland. Take a guided stroll around Sand Ridge’s Trails and learn about native wildlife’s mating habits; from a short fling to a bond that lasts a lifetime. Registration is required; call 708-868-0606, register in person at the nature center or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Don’t you sometimes just want to escape? Explore the natural beauty of Cook County for an hour, a day or even a night. When you’re surrounded by 70,000 acres of wild and wonderful there’s no better place to feel free.