Are you or your family looking for new places to enjoy nature, a reason to be outside, or a little guidance for trying bike paths? Join 815 Outside AmeriCorps member Julie Uram on hikes and bike rides around Winnebago County to explore nature, get active, and meet new people.

Hikes and bike rides last a little over an hour. To maximize safety, registration is limited to 15 people and face masks to be worn when not exercising are encouraged. Learn more about each event with the blue button. 

Hike at Four Lakes Forest Preserve – Wednesday, September 23rd, 9-10:30AM  Register Here  

Soak in the changing colors of fall and waterfront breezes as we walk approximately 2 miles of flat, grassy trail around the lakes. Enter and park at 10207 Fish Hatchery Rd, Pecatonica, IL 61063.


Hike at Sugar River Forest Preserve- Sunday, September 27th, 2-3:30PM  Register Here  

Enjoy the stunning vistas of our very own Sugar River and hike approximately 2.5 miles of hilly grass and sand trails. Enter at 10127 Forest Preserve Rd, Durand, IL 61024 and meet at the Riverview Shelterhouse.


Fall Walkabout at Nature At The Confluence- Sunday October 4th, 2-3:30PM Register Here  

This is a guided hike with hosts Therese Oldenburg, Executive Director of Nature At The Confluence and Julie Uram, 815 Outside AmeriCorps member. Learn about the unique history, industrial legacy and natural areas of the land as we walk along the trails. We’ll hike the new 1 mile Rock River Birding and Hiking Trail, trail is grass and mostly flat. 


Hike at J. Norman Jensen Forest Preserve- Wednesday, October 7th, 9-10:30 AM Register Here  

Jensen features rolling hills, wooded lowlands, and the mighty Rock River. This tranquil hike is approximately 2 miles of grass trail with some hills. Enter at 14400 S. Bluff, Rockton, IL 61072 and meet at the loop parking lot.


Bike the Kishwaukee Bike Path- Sunday, October 11th, 2-3:30PM Register Here  

Experience a peaceful fall afternoon along the banks of the Kishwaukee River. We will bike 3.5 miles of paved trail from Blackhawk Springs to Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve and back, with the option to add 2.5 miles of further trail in Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve. Enter and park at 5360 Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61109. Bring your own bike and helmet. 


Hike at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden- Wednesday, October 21st, 9-10:30 AM Register Here  

Explore the trails and witness a collection of trees and plants unlike anywhere else in the world, led by a Klehm Arboretum expert. Enter at 2715 S Main St, Rockford, IL 61102. We will hike approximately 2.5 miles of paved trails, with the option to go on grass trails as well. 


Hike at Nygren Wetland Preserve – Sunday, October 25th, 2-3:30PM Register Here  

Enjoy fall colors at the amazingly preserved wetlands and hike the Dianne Nora Nature Trail loop which is 3 miles of mostly grass trail with some hills. Enter and park at the Wildlife Overlook, 3714 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton, IL.


Hike at Kishwaukee Gorge North Forest Preserve- Wednesday, November 4th, 9-10:30AM  Register Here  

Check out Kishwaukee Gorge’s unexpected adventure and views. We will hike a loop of approximately 2 miles on a trail that is partially paved and partially grass with some hills. Enter at 6915 Faust Lane, Cherry Valley, IL 61016 and park in the first parking lot on the left. 


Hike at Atwood Park- Sunday, November 8th, 2-3:30PM Register Here  

We will explore diverse ecosystems and enjoy the banks of the beautiful Kishwaukee River. Enter at 2685 New Milford School Rd. Rockford, IL 61109 and meet at the building entrance. 


Hike at Kieselburg Forest Preserve- Wednesday, November 18th, 9-10:30AM Register Here  

Kieselburg boasts a variety of prairie habitats in addition to a spring-fed fen, an exciting water feature. We will hike approximately 2.5 miles of mostly flat grass and dirt trails. Enter at 5801 Swanson Road, Roscoe, IL 61073 and meet at the Redcedar Ridge Shelterhouse. 


Hike at Colored Sands Forest Preserve- Sunday, November 22nd, 2-3:30PM Register Here  

Enjoy panoramic views of the Sugar River and perhaps view migrating hawks while hiking a loop of approximately 2.5 miles on a grass trail with some hills. Enter at 10602 Haas Road, Durand, IL 61024 and park at the bird banding station.


Hike at Severson Dells Forest Preserve- Wednesday, December 2nd, 9-10:30AM Register Here  

Listen for owls and look for animal tracks while hiking approximately 2.5 miles of grass trail throughout the multiple ecosystems of Severson Dells Forest Preserve. Enter at 8786 Montague Rd., Rockford, IL, 61102 and meet at the Nature Center building.


Hike at Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve- Sunday, December 6th, 2-3:30PM  Register Here  

Enjoy the sounds of nature and beautiful banks of the Kishwaukee River while hiking a loop of approximately 3 miles on a trail that is partially paved and partially grass with some hills. Enter and park at 5360 Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61109.


Hike the Baumann Park Path- Wednesday, December 16th, 9-10:30AM  Register Here  

Get a breath of fresh air with two laps around the lake, a 1.25 mile paved loop path. Enter on Walnut Street in Cherry Valley, IL 61016.



Photos from recent 815 Outside Hikes and Bikes:


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