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Celebrating National Take a Hike Day in Champaign County

November 17, 2020

Today is National Take a Hike Day! While many of us spent more time in our local parks and preserves this year as a safe way to stay active, there are a hundred more reasons to try and get out to move, explore, and escape into nature. Here's a start to finding great places to hike in Champaign County today and every day!

What is national take a hike day?

Take a Hike Day was established by the American Hiking Society to encourage people to get out into the wild and really get a taste of what it means to be away from it all again. Hiking is something that really helps to rebuild our connection with nature, and helps to maintain healthy hearts and bodies as well. Funny enough, many of us have reconnected with nature this way during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more emphasis on safe, outdoor spaces, a lot of people rekindled their relationship with our local trails and National Take a Hike Day is a great way to celebrate that rediscovery. 

Here are a few options you have to celebrate!

Great Local Champaign County Trails for Hiking

Image Credit: @elisidman on Instagram via Champaign County Forest Preserve District

Taking a hike doesn't need to be a monumental occasion. You can celebrate today by simply getting out to your nearest neighborhood park and walking among the trees and sounds of nature. If you're up for a bit more of an adventure, then here are a few places we'd recommend. 

Allerton Park is gorgeous this time of year as we begin to see winter taking shape in our area. With great trails among the trees and gardens on the grounds, you'll have a lot to be thankful for as you feel one with the amazing setting all around you. 

At the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, reforested lowlands and over 1,700 acres of meadows and prairies make for a great hike. Don't be afraid to stick around after sunset - it's Illinois' only International Dark Sky Park with gorgeous views of the starry sky.

Homer Lake Forest Preserve features 10 miles of hiking trails and a gorgeous backdrop for many of our favorite outdoor activities. Watch for birds or simply take in the beauty of the Salt Fork River and you'll feel that rush of nature's healing touch. Can't make it to Homer Lake in-person? Be sure to check in on the Champaign County Forest Preserve District's virtual hikes and programming happening all day.

Hiking safely during covid-19

With the popularity of local parks and trails increasing during the pandemic, please be sure to bring a mask and wear it when you can't stay 6 feet away from fellow hikers. Likewise, be sure to heed all directions listed by the CCFPD and Allerton Park as well as the Champaign Park District and Urbana Park District on usage during the pandemic. 

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