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President's Letter: Explore the Preserves in New Ways This Summer

Summer is finally upon us and there are a number of activities ready for you to enjoy in the Forest Preserves. In the May issue of the Forest Way, we prepared you for camping which kicked off at Camp Shabbona Woods on Memorial Day Weekend. And this month, we have exciting news about our trails to share.

Saturday, June 6th is National Trails Day and we are celebrating with the opening of the Cal-Sag Trail’s 13 mile western segment. Once the eastern segment is completed in 2016-17, this 26 mile trail will link the Centennial and I&M Canal Trails in Lemont to the Burnham Greenway and the Pennsy Greenway that extends to Indiana. The Cal-Sag Trail will eventually connect 14 communities and 450,000 people, making it one of the most significant trails in the Forest Preserves’ system and in the Chicago Wilderness region.

We’re also pleased to announce a new amenity for trail users—bike rentals will soon be available at Dan Ryan Woods, Caldwell Woods, Bunker Hill, Blue Star Memorial Woods, Tower Road and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Docking stations at each of these locations will hold up to ten bikes. Dan Ryan Woods will feature an expanded lineup of bicycles along with quadcycles (four wheeled bikes for groups), tag-along and baby seat attachments as well as other trail related concessions.

Finally, May marked the second annual “Share the Trail” month in the Forest Preserves. Each weekend last month our staff greeted trail users throughout the County to share trail tips, give out bike safety gear and raise awareness of proper trail etiquette.

I hope to see you out on the trails this summer!

Toni Preckwinkle, President
Forest Preserves of Cook County