Here’s the real tea: of all the planning ahead you’ll do this week, the most important decisions you’re actually going to make are where you’ll #OptOutside
for Black Friday.
Here are a few recommendations:
1. Deer Grove East is a stunningly beautiful home to the prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that used to cover Illinois. Mixed-use paved trails wind through the entire Preserve, with some dirt trails cutting through the woodlands. Put it on your list for a short walk or a longer hike. Photo: @mikenhikes
2. Starved Rock State Park is probably the most popular place to get outside in Illinois. It’s great in late fall or winter, as there is plenty of hiking and sites to see. Waterfalls freeze over in the winter for some gorgeous photos and bald eagles can be easily seen over the Illinois River.
3. Chicago’s Humboldt Park is an excellent choice if you’re staying in the city. Paths wind not only through the entire park, but also around the lagoons and the park’s natural areas. Take some time to explore the neighborhood and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture.
4. The Openlands Lakeshore Preserve is located in Lake County, just 25 miles north of Chicago. Wander the ravines and bluff slopes for some of the best views you’ll find of Lake Michigan. We’re biased because it’s our baby, but trust us: it’s beautiful and won’t disappoint. Photo: @peteroverholt
5. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is also a great way to enjoy Lake Michigan during the colder months. IDNL is managed by the National Park Service and is home to some of the most ecological diverse landscapes in the world, plus plenty of ways to get outside other than simply sitting on the beach.
Head to our Blog on Openlands.org or comment below for more recommendations, and let us know where you will #OptOutside
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Share your favorite places to get outside in the Chicago Region by tagging your photos with #DiscoverYourPlace