The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s 14th annual Woods Walk Challenge began June 1 and will run through Oct. 31.
Participants who hike seven of the 10 selected trails will earn a medallion suitable for attaching to a walking stick or backpack. Those who hike all 10 preserve trails will receive an additional gift. The 10 selected trails for this year’s challenge are in Wilmington, Beecher, Joliet, Plainfield, Channahon, Monee and Naperville.
The district also will offer hikers a photo contest option. Woods Walk participants can submit their best snapshots to be critiqued by a panel of judges. In 2013, Brittany Matejko of Lockport, won first place for her photo of a caterpillar in sunlight at Prairie Bluff Preserve in Lockport.
To participate in the challenge, Woods Walk travel logs can be downloaded from the District’s website, ReconnectWithNature.org. Travel logs also can be picked up at four visitor centers: Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, Monee Reservoir in Monee and Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher.
Once the challenge has ended, hikers have three ways to claim their medallions and gifts. They can bring completed travel logs into a visitor center, complete an online survey or attend a special reception from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 8 at the Sugar Creek Administration Center.
For information on the Woods Walk Challenge, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.