Join the Take a Hike! Challenge 

For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages. . It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

How does it work?

1) Fill out the online registration form.*
2) Get out and hike from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27!
3) Turn in the Take a Hike! Tracker with 6 completed hikes to get an award.

Registration is open!

*Registration is required to earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award*. Please register each participant in your group or family individually.

Note: Hikes can be completed anywhere. The featured trails, special events, and Elevate Your Hike content are suggestions only to help you make the most of your hiking experience but are not required to qualify for the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award.


Elevate Your Hike:

ID Those Trees, Plants & Flowers


It’s time to connect with nature and learn about the trees, plants, and flowers you encounter along the trail. Elevate Your Hike by putting your knowledge to the test and playing some fun games with your fellow hikers.

  • Check out this Field Museum Prairies and Savannas Guide from the Chicago Park District to help you identify species of flowers, grasses, birds, and butterflies.
  • You could also play ID that tree! Bring binoculars and use this Common Trees of the Chicago Region Guide to help you identify the trees you see on your hike. Keep a checklist of the species you find. Apps like iNaturalist use image recognition technology to identify the plants/animals you spot.
  • Grab the kids and go on a Wildflower Walk or try this Hiking Scavenger Hunt. Mark down what you see and hear along your hike, such as birds, butterflies, leaves, acorns, etc. You can search for items as a team or make it a contest to see who can find the most.
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