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President's Letter: Explore the Forest Preserves of Cook County While Hiking

Did you know that throughout the Forest Preserves of Cook County, visitors will find more than 300 miles of paved and unpaved trails? Trail users can enjoy hiking, mountain biking and peaceful walks, as well as fully immersing themselves in and learning about the history of our natural lands.

In this issue of the Forest Way, readers will learn about five recommended hikes to enjoy in the Forest Preserves. Each season, the Forest Preserves will be highlighting a different trail in all five of our zones. Hikers can enjoy traversing through sugar maple forests, spotting birds and butterflies, and viewing beautifully restored landscapes. Interested to planning other hikes? Visit our interactive web map to find nearby trails.

Readers will also learn about three recently approved grants from the Forest Preserve Foundation. The Foundation works with the Forest Preserves of Cook County to support meaningful experiences in nature for youth and families. The grants will help fund initiatives that immerse youth in the Forest Preserves, help create nature-based education, and provide employment opportunities in nature.

Finally, be sure to check out the link to photos from our wildlife division’s recent outing to do medical work-ups on coyote pups. The work is completed annually as part of the Urban Coyote Research Project, a partnership between the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Cook County Animal & Rabies Control, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and The Ohio State University.

As we transition into summer, visitors to the Forest Preserves will find numerous ways to explore our incredible natural lands and engage in many activities, including kayaking, biking, camping and more.

We hope to see you in the Preserves!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County