Outings are a great way to meet your fellow sierrans! Our outings leaders are Sierra Club volunteers, and the range of outings is as diverse as their interests. Depending on where you are, you can choose from day hikes, peak scrambles, bicycling, cross-country skiing, brd-watching, conservation-oriented walks, or longer trips into the remaining natural areas of our major cities.

In short, Sierra Club outings are a great way to find out about local conservation issues while enjoying the great outdoors!


If you know wilderness in the way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go…. This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future. – Terry Tempest Williams


Photo and Quote used by permission from: Ted C. MacRae


Past Outings 3-Day, Fall Hike to the Ozark Trail

Ozark Trail

Presented by: NW Cook County Group


Leaders: Gary Salavitch - and Jordan Rowe

Level: Moderate

This was a three day hike through some of the more scenic sections of the Ozark Trail. We car camped on Friday night and headed out early on Saturday with a completion on Monday afternoon. We covered approx. 24.5 mies.





The NWCCG hiked the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

A challenging backcountry day hike at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to enjoy the spring wildflowers. Accompanied by Tom Serynek, a native to the Indiana Dunes area and a board member of the Save the Dunes Council to view the spring wild flowers and experience the natural surroundings. Best of all, the wildflowers were at their peak during this time of the year!


3 More wonderful outings were organized and held by our own NWCC group -
Check back often to see what's coming up for outings.



10/7-10/9 - Garden of the Gods Cleanup Hike, Golconda, IL

10/7-10/10 - Fall Backpacking at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, MI

10/22 - Day Hiking at Matthiessen State Park to View the Fall Colors, Utica, IL


Take a Day Trip to a Local Area Park

The Palatine Trail - Palatine

Stretching nearly five miles, the Palatine Trail allows trail users to wind through residential areas, prairies and hilly stretches hidden from the main drag.
The east end of the trail begins near the intersection of Winston and Anderson Drive and is easily accessible off of Route 53.

bikingYour trip will begin at Maple Park. Covering seven acres, Maple Park is a great place to picnic. The park has a basketball court; playground; and fields for soccer, football, softball and baseball. If you're in the mood for tennis, Sycamore Park is a little further west on the trail and offers three courts.

Travel further west and you will pass more residential areas and open space, then ride along Hicks Road for a bit and go through a tunnel. Once you get on the other side of the tunnel, your ride becomes more scenic. The trail is plentiful with trees and even some bridges. This trail is great to ride in the fall when the foliage has changed. You will continue to ride through open spaces and pass the Palatine Library. Crossing Smith Street, catch a view of the Palatine Hills Golf Course , a lake, more tennis courts and a playground.

Once you pass the tennis course and playground, begins the most challenging part of the trip. If you're riding a bike you'll really want to start your momentum because there is a steep hill which comes up pretty quickly. Be careful because bikers approaching from the opposite direction may be heading down the hill too fast. The rest of the trail is heavily wooded and peaceful. The trail ends at Dundee Road.

The Palatine Trail connects to Deer Grove – just follow the extended trail west paralleling Dundee Road. You will need to cross the intersection of Dundee and Quentin Roads, so be aware, but there are traffic lights at this intersection along with a crosswalk. back to top

Friendship Park Conservatory - Des Plaines

Nestled near the busy intersection of Algonquin and Elmhurst (Route 83) Roads lies Friendship Park Conservatory. Operated by the Mount Prospect Park District, the conservatory is located at 395 Algonquin Rd. in Des Plaines, the park offers something for everyone.

Visitors can peruse the seasonal gardens or stroll among the 1,600 square foot atrium for a peaceful getaway. Pack a lunch or bring a book and enjoy a quiet sanctuary in the Friendship Park's courtyard. The park also includes a three-story atrium and 30 acres of outdoor gardens.

The conservatory is also the site of many classes and events including Master Gardener classes through the University of Illinois Extension whose objectives include:

• Distribute horticultural information to individuals and groups in local communities

• Develop and enhance community programs through horticulture

• Develop the leadership potential of Master Gardener volunteers through a volunteer administrative network designed to assist Extension staff in managing local Master Gardener activities and programs


More information available on the Master Gardener Program website or call Monica David, Extension Specialist and Illinois Master Gardener Coordinator at 217-265-5265 or

Friendship Park makes the perfect setting for special events such as weddings, showers or parties and is available for rental. The conservatory hosts several Mount Prospect Park District events throughout the year including the recycling days, the Mother's Day Plant Sale and the Holiday Open House, which will be held on Saturday, December 2 this year. Hot cider and cookies along with musical entertainment and plenty of holiday cheer will be on hand for all to enjoy. There will also be live reindeer and beautiful holiday floral displays.

The conservatory is open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday-Thursday; 9 am – 4 pm Friday and 11 am – 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit their website for more information about the Friendship Park Conservatory or call 847-298-5300

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| ©2014 Northwest Cook County Group of the Illinois Sierra Club |