Cruise the County with Forest Preserve’s springtime biking challenge


Photo cutline: Join the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Cruise the County challenge, which runs from March 1 through May 31. (Forest Preserve photo |Chad Merda)

The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s 2024 Cruise the County biking challenge is underway.

Participants are being challenged to ride four designated trails from March 1 through May 31, record the routes on a smartphone fitness app, and submit the proof to the Forest Preserve’s website via an online submission page at

Those who complete all four rides will earn a multi-functional survival/bike tool. The free challenge is for ages 12 or older.

The Cruise the County challenge is designed to get people out into nature and show them how our communities are connected, said Em Wilcher, the Forest Preserve District’s recreation coordinator. Ride destinations highlight Vermont Cemetery in Naperville, Lake Renwick Preserve in Plainfield, downtown Frankfort and U.S. Forest Service-owned Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie south of Joliet.

“We know how much folks love biking in the preserves, and how much they have enjoyed past spring challenges, including the Triple Crown Challenge and the Spring 95er,” Wilcher said. “So, this year, we wanted to offer another challenge with some longer biking distances to showcase both the beauty of our natural resources and how the trail systems connect our preserves with other areas of Will County.

The four trails that have been selected for Cruise the County are:

From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 27, there will be a Celebrate Trails Day group ride for those who want to bike the Wauponsee Glacial Trail ride together. The program includes a presentation by Midewin’s prairie archaeologist, Joe Wheeler. Attendance at the program is not required for those participating in Cruise the County. Registration is required for the group ride.

Registration is not required for the Cruise the County challenge, just the online submissions starting March 1. After submitting proof of all four rides, participants will receive an email asking them to select a visitor center where they can pick up their giveaway. Items will be available at the sites between May 1 and June 16.


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