Don’t let winter pass you by without sledding down a few snow-covered hills, skating across an ice rink or two or exploring the frosted landscape of parks and trails in St. Charles.
“We encourage everyone to take advantage of outdoor activities even in the cold weather,” said Lara Piner, St. Charles Park District Supervisor. “As long as you’re dressed for the weather, outdoor exercise in the winter is beneficial for the body and mind.”
Even if you’re just walking a trail, being outside can refresh your mind by reducing stress, improving concentration, increasing creativity and soaking up vitamin D. So don’t hibernate this winter; bundle up and head outside to enjoy free St. Charles Park District winter recreation.
When there’s snow there’s sledding, so grab your tube, toboggan or snowboard and head over to one of the two Park District sledding hills at Langum Park on 7th Avenue between Madison and Fern avenues, or Timber Trails Park off 17th street, north of Dean Street. Both do not have lights but are open daily until 9pm.
“We cannot stress enough for families to be mindful of the hours and only sled on the designated hills,” Piner said. For example, she said many residents ask about sledding at Pottawatomie Park, but the location is too dangerous with rocks and trees. “Only utilize the Langum and Timber Trails sledding hills for your safety.”
If ice skating is a favorite family pastime or if you’re just getting started, check out the rinks at Lincoln Park at 4th and 5th streets, Davis Park on Fellows Street or Timber Trails Park. Those locations offer ice skating only. For the hockey players in your family, Langum Park is the place to be, as it has a hockey-only designation. Residents should bring their own equipment, as no rentals are available.
Sledding and skating availability is dependent on weather conditions. Residents are encouraged to call the weather hotline at 630-513-4320 for sledding hill and ice conditions.
Another way to partake in the scenic views of nature and get the heart rate up is by cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing along the 20 miles of trails owned and maintained by the Park District.
Snowshoes are available to rent for adults and children at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road. Weekday rentals are $2 per pair with pick-up by 4pm and return by 10am the next day; and weekend rentals are $5 per pair, for pick-up Friday or Saturday by 4pm and return by 10am Tuesday. For more information about snow-shoe rentals, call 630-513-4399.
For more information about winter activities, visit www.stcparks.org.