As the winter blues come to an end, it’s time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. It seems like an eternity since we were able to be outdoors for an extended period of time without being bundled up like we were on an Arctic adventure is finally coming to an end.
We all have that “itch” to get out and enjoy the first blast of warmth that Mother Nature is providing us, whether it’s getting out and picking up all the sticks that the snow/ice/wind brought down or just taking a stroll through the neighborhood and seeing the neighbors because it seems like a lifetime since you’ve seen them outdoors.
There are many options to enjoy the warmth of springtime. You can enjoy the small things such as just driving with the windows down, taking in the fresh air, or taking a weekend getaway. One of my personal favorites is to enjoy the fresh air and do a little hiking. There are several state parks that are only a short drive away for a weekend day getaway. One such park is Matthiessen State Park in Utica, Illinois. It’s not as well-known as its state park neighbor about 5 miles away, Starved Rock State Park, but it is more “intense” hiking than Starved Rock. At Matthiessen, you get to cross the water flowing down the hillside, and a couple wrong steps could give you wet feet for the day (bringing dry socks/shoes is suggested). Starved Rock has more walkway trails and a few paved trails that are good if you’re just looking to walk around and enjoy the outdoors. Beware of the long staircases; they can take the wind right out of you!
No matter what you enjoy doing once the thermometer gets into the 40s and 50s, it’s important to get outside and enjoy it because before you know it, we’ll be baking in the summer heat!