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Artwork courtesy of Susan Johnson
HomeHiking 2021-2022 Season
Thorn Creek/GSU Hike
March 26, 2022

Six hikers turned out on a very cold, windy day to hike the Thorn Creek Trail and then head over to Governor State University for a sculpture walk.   The Thorn Creek portion of the hike can best be described as muddy, but fun or as very muddy, but fun.   Due to the rain earlier in the week, these trails were difficult to navigate due to mud, mud, and more mud.  There were portions slightly flooded and hard to cross.  Needless to say, that did not deter adventurous hikers.

The same cannot be said for GSU.  Although we knew it would not be muddy, we also knew we would be putting up with cold winds.  Well, we lasted only a few minutes before deciding to proceed indoors for a warm, cozy indoor walk through the art galleries to view the student artwork on display.  Although this was not the original plan, it worked out and we all enjoyed ourselves.

We then had a great lunch at Evil Horse/The Loft.

This was our final scheduled hike posted last fall.  That does not mean we are done hiking, however.  Look for more to come through announcements.  As the weather warms up many of us will combine our biking activities with walks through the woods.

Look at those trees!!

Scott, Andi

Lois, Bernie, Scott, JoDell, Karen

March 2022, John, Lois, Susan on the trail

At the Bailly Cemetery

John, Lois, Susan

Maple Sugar Festival at the Bailly Chellberg Homestead
March 13, 2022

Hikers returned to the Bailly Chellberg Farm/Homestead for the annual Maple Sugar Festival.   We met in the parking lot and then went for a hike of about 5 miles. 

This is a beautiful area.  It follows a river in spots, passes a kayak launch site and goes around the woods.  There is a side spur to the Bailly cemetery which is quite a monument to a previous owner.  We then made our way to the festival, stopping by the chickens and the barn.  There were syrup making displays, maple syrup snow cones for purchase and other displays to explore.  

After the festivities our group had lunch at the 219 Taproom in Chesterton.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the quiet atmosphere, good food and beverages.  
March 2022, MSF, Scott, Laurel, Kathy, Lois

Scott, Laura, Kathy and Lois

at the Festival

March 2022, MSF, Listening to a Presentation

Enjoying a Musical Presentation

March 2022, MSF, Lois

Lois Making Friends

March 2022, MSF, Bernie, Scott, Laura

Being Silly

February 27, 2022
Miller Beach

The Miller Beach hike is a favorite for many.  There is ample parking, a very nice nature center and great trails.  The trails are flat much of the way with a smaller slope near the beach.  The views along the way are varied so there is always a lot to see. 
We had a good size group for this hike.   Ten of us hiked about 5-6 miles.  After reaching the beach we detoured a bit and walked over to Marquette Park.  From there we made our way back to the Douglas Center where we decided on a place for lunch.  
Our next hike will be at the Bailly Chellberg Farm where we will meet for a hike and the annual Maple Sugar Festival.  
Feb 2022, Miller Beach

Miller Beach

JoDell, Andi, Bernie, Scott, Karen,

Ladd, Lois, Jeff, Allison

Photographer: John V

Feb 2022, Marquette Park

At Marquette Park

Lemont Quarries Hike
Feb. 14, 2022

While some were celebrating Valentine's Day and others were preparing for the Super Bowl, eleven hikers came out to enjoy a cold, winter day.  And it sure was cold!!   There was a warm up period days before the hike followed by a freeze, so trails were snow covered and icy - very icy.  For those of us who had some sort of cleats to put on their shoes, it wasn't too bad; without them it was very slippery.    It was also very, very cold.

It was tricky to decide which trail to take.  We wanted to avoid the ice but this really was almost impossible.  The first trail we tried dead ended with the gates being closed.   We retraced our steps and then tried walking the road. That was ok, but we really wanted to get into the woods.  We ended up going around a frozen lake which was a little more protected.  That turned out to be a good path.  Luckily, no one fell during our hike and we stayed warm enough while moving. All said, it was another good day for hiking. There are no pictures of this hike - it was too cold to take the gloves off!

For lunch our group divided with some heading to Orland and others going to a local place in Lemont.
Our next two hikes will be at Starved Rock and Miller Beach to finish off February.

January 30 Cowles Bog Hike

Cowles Bog is a favorite for several of our members.  The hike is close to five miles.  There is a combination of flat trails, hilly trails and higher dunes.  About halfway through the hike we entered the beach area before returning to the woods.  This year there was significant shelf ice.  Although this is beautiful and a temptation can be there to venture out on the ice, it is extremely dangerous.  But we took pictures and were amazed at the formations from the forces of nature.   After our hike we enjoyed lunch at 18th Street Brewery in Miller.  

Bernie, Joan, Andi, Alison,

John, Lois, Scott, Karen, Jeff

Photographer: Jim T.

At the Beach

Stopping on the hill

Andi, Ladd, Scott

Photographer, Lois

January 16, 2022
Indiana Dunes, Trail 10 hike

The first hike of the season is typically at Goodenow Grove.  Due to inclement weather, that hike was canceled and our 2022 season kick off was at the Indiana Dunes State Park.  This time we hiked trail 10, a long, flat, scenic trail that ends at the top of a dune overlooking the lake.  We had a good turnout for this hike.  There were eleven hikers.  We were very pleased to have two guests hiking along with us.  Unfortunately, we did not get a group photo, but Andi, Ladd, Scott and Louis stopped long enough for a picture at the top of the dune before returning back to the nature center.  
Feb 2022, Marquette Park

Go for a Ride -

Available at the Dunes

Downtown Chicago, 2021

Our annual downtown Christmas display hike was Monday, December 20.  It was a great day to be downtown - the weather cooperated.    This year the route was planned by John V. and Jim T.   It included some of our favorites that we've seen in other years and a few new stops. We started heading south on Michigan Ave. to the Blackstone and then headed to the Hilton, the Palmer House and Macy's.   From there we headed to the Chriskindlmarket, but it was very busy and we decided we did not want to mingle with the crowd.   Other highlights included the River Walk, a very pleasant walk along Michigan Ave north to the Drake before turning back to Millenium Park.  Lunch was at the Billy Goat Tavern -cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger....We met at 11:00 at the Cultural Center and finished our tour about 4:00.  Unsure how many steps we got in, but it was a lot of walking!   

We began this downtown Christmas walk a few years ago and it looks like the tradition will continue.  The decorations never disappoint and it is really a nice time.
2021 Christmas Downtown

Horsetail Lake/Swallow Cliff

On Dec. 17, Bernie, Scott, Karen, Andi, Jim T., Jeff, Alison and John V. hiked 5.5 miles in the Palos area.   This hike takes hikers to Swallow Cliff, the site of the long gone toboggon slide.  About 100 stairs are still there, however, and we stopped at the top for a look and a picture before continuing on.  Jim took the group on a little side spur which followed a cliff in the woods.   

John, Jeff, Scott, Bernie, Jim, Alison, Karen

The top of the stairs

Dennis, Frankie, Lois,Scott, Bernie

Photographer: John

Bailly Chellberg Farm - A Do Over

Dennis and Frankie, Lois, John, Scott and Bernie were able to hike on Dec. 12 at the Bailly Chellberg Farm in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  
This was rescheduled from Dec. 5 when the weather was rainy and dreary.  The boardwalk section at the farm has been completely redone to include railings . Very nice!  Unfortunately, they are not running the Christmas at the farm event this year.   

Afterward the group went to 18th Street Brewery in Miller for lunch.  The food was good and the group had the place to themselves.


The Homestead

December 5, 2021 BaillyChellberg Farm

You wouldn't know it from the picture, but this group of five daring hikers walked in drizzly, cool weather.  But with raincoats, umbrellas, good shoes and winter clothing we were warm and dry throughout.  The Bailly Chellberg Homestead is a beautiful area to hike in, with a lot of ravines, boardwalks, the river, forested areas and prairie.  In addition to all of the natural beauty, there are historical landmarks as well.   This is the site of the Maple Sugar Festival in early spring.  Perhaps we'll get together again at that time to enjoy this great area.

Karen, Alison, Jim

West Beach hike, Nov.21

Well, we were lucky again with some great fall weather.   The day started out a little drippy, but the skies soon cleared and we were able to hike in dry weather.  The leaves are off most of the trees but there were plenty on the ground.  Crunch, crunch, as we hiked along.  Bernie, Scott, Dennis, Andi, Lois, Ladd, Elaine, Jim T., Jeff and Allison were the 10 hikers that day.  Next scheduled hike is in two weeks.

Almost back to the beginning...

An Amazing View

Lois, Scott, Susan, Jim, Fern (Photographer: Bernie)

October 14, 2021
End of Season, rescheduled, hike
Plum Creek, Goodenow Grove

The traditional end of season hike was rescheduled due to very inclement weather weeks before.  It ended up nestled between the scheduled Indiana Dunes hike and West Beach.  But it all worked out as seven hikers came out in still somewhat questionable weather to get some exercise and enjoy lunch afterward.  FOS hikers are certainly a hardy bunch.  Not much stops a good hike in the woods!  

November 7, 2021 - Indiana Dunes, Trail 9 Hike

What a great day for FOS hikers.  After having to cancel our first/last hike of the season (the End of Season potluck washout) it was fun to be back to hiking again.  Trail 9 never disappoints.   After a steep walk up the dune to the ridge, the views of the lake were awesome.  Although autumn colors are somewhat disappointing this year, there were a few areas that offered stunning views.   After the hike, several enjoyed lunch in town.  The next hike will be at the rescheduled End of Season Potluck at Plum Creek.

Bernie, Scott, Andi, Jacob, Frankie, Dennis, Fern, Jim