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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Get moving with 2023 Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge from Sept. 1 through Oct. 27

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Above / Find the .89-mile trail in May Watts Park, another local natural treasure, accessible from Sequoia, Whispering Hills and Oakton roads in the heart of Naperville. (PN Photo)

This fall, Edward-Elmhurst Health is joining a group of local organizations to invite community residents to get outside and stay healthy with the fourth Annual Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. Participation is free of charge.

As participants discovered over the last two years of the Challenge, hiking is a great way for people of all ages to spend time outdoors and stay active. This year’s Take a Hike! Challenge co-sponsors include The Conservation Foundation, Elmhurst Park District, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and Naperville Park District.

Trails in Springbrook Prairie wind around to all kinds of sights and activities worth enjoying, especially on a Sunday. (PN File Photo)

The challenge, which runs from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, provides hiking insights, special programs and tips to improve and get the most out of each hike. Participation is free but registration is required to earn awards. 

“Spending time in our area’s beautiful trails and forest preserves provides a solid foundation for mental and physical health and well-being, so integral to a prevention lifestyle,” says Joe Dant, President, South Region, NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health. “Time spent in nature has been shown to produce health benefits like reduced stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and improved relationships with family and friends. Physical activity can lower cardiovascular and cancer risk, while improving balance and bone density. We are grateful to our sponsor-partners for helping us bring this impactful program to our communities.”

From Knoch Knolls to the DuPage River Park, joyful sounds of birds can be heard along the trails. (PN File Photo)

Participation is easy with three simple steps: 1) Sign up online. 2) Get out and hike from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, 2023. 3) Turn in the Take a Hike! Tracker with 6 completed hikes to earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award.

Hike anywhere!

Note: Hikes can be completed anywhere. Trails listed online are suggestions only. The Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award includes either a commemorative pin, medallion or, for first time participants, a walking stick with a commemorative medallion. Start a collection—there will be a new design each year!

Discover St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville with trails throughout more than 100 acres of woodlands, prairies and wetlands. (PN File Photo)

To register, sign up for weekly emails about special events, see an interactive hiking map and more, visit the Take a Hike! Challenge website at www.EEHealth.org/healthy-driven/take-a-hike.

Story submitted by Keith Hartenberger | System Director, Media Relations & Storytelling. NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health.

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