Chicago

April 26, 2019

Cook County’s Best Kept Secret

One of the largest—and oldest—forest preserve systems in the nation surrounds Chicago like an evergreen wreath.   Hundreds of miles of foot and bike paths are nestled inside the Forest Preserves of Cook County, along with lakes and streams for fishing and boating, meandering disc golf courses, bird sanctuaries, landing strips for model airplanes, horse […]

The post Cook County’s Best Kept Secret appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

March 13, 2019

The Story Behind Indiana’s First National Park

Indiana Dunes National Park

The vast lands of the Midwest host fewer than a dozen national parks. But on February 15, Indiana Dunes officially became the nation’s newest and 61st national park. The designation marks the final chapter of a century-old conservation story that is also the story of Chicago, and a reframing of wild places beyond the traditional […]

The post The Story Behind Indiana’s First National Park appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

September 22, 2018

West Ridge Nature Preserve: A Hidden Oasis at One of Chicago’s Busiest Intersections

There are precious few places in Chicago’s urban sprawl where you can truly lose yourself in green space. West Ridge Nature Preserve is one of them. Where most urban nature lovers have become familiar with large, well-kempt parks like Lincoln and Grant, West Ridge is overgrown and uncultivated. That’s by design. Though the 21-acre park […]

The post West Ridge Nature Preserve: A Hidden Oasis at One of Chicago’s Busiest Intersections appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

August 23, 2018

The Best Mountain Bike Rides Near Chicago

To the unfamiliar, the sprawling metropolis of Chicago may not seem like a hub of outdoor recreation; however, there are numerous riding opportunities if you know where to look. Whether you want to take the kids on a family outing, improve your skills, enjoy some flow or escape for the weekend, the trail systems around […]

The post The Best Mountain Bike Rides Near Chicago appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

July 26, 2018

Group Thru-Hikes 210-mile Chicago Outerbelt Trail for the First Time

Chicago Thru-Hikers

If you were a bird soaring above Chicagoland, your eagle eyes might spot a thick, green band: the perimeter where metro fades to country. This is the “Outerbelt,” hikeable pathways that encircle the city. For years, a connected thru-trail lived only in the imaginations of outdoor enthusiasts who dreamed of being able to walk to […]

The post Group Thru-Hikes 210-mile Chicago Outerbelt Trail for the First Time appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

May 24, 2018

10 Best Hikes Near Chicago

Sunset view from the shore of Lake Michigan

Although the Chicago metro area is a bit limited by geography, a short drive to the outskirts of the city to visit a state park or conservation area or a longer drive across the state line to visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore provides hikers with options. The scenic midwestern landscape and easy-going terrain is […]

The post 10 Best Hikes Near Chicago appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.