Forest Bathing, Community Bike Rides, and Wildflower Walks

CHICAGO — Go forest bathing, learn to bird watch and identify native plants, and meet with local groups of bikers, hikers and climbers and more this month.

Here are 15 community-led outdoor events happening around town this June:

Friday, June 2–Sunday, June 18 | 9 a.m.

Departure from several daily departure points.

Hike with the team from The Outerbelt, a local hiking gathering group that mapped out Chicago’s first hike—a multi-day or weeklong long-distance trail ride—circling 210 miles around the city. Over 20 days, the group will travel small portions of the entire route that links Chicago’s Forest Reserves and urban green spaces. Meet at different starting points throughout June and hike the entire outer loop or take part in individual section hikes. No registration required; meet at various departure points daily (more information in the “About us” section).

Saturday June 3 | 9:30 a.m.

Departs from Burnham Harbor, 1559 S. Lake Shore Drive

Female, femme, non-binary, and trans-identified cyclists are invited to ride with Femmes + Themmes, an accessible and empowering community of cyclists. Riders can choose from three route options: a 7.5-mile route that ends at the 61st Street Farmer’s Market, a 15-mile trip that ends at the 8th Street Fountain in Grant Park, or a 24-mile trip that ends at Metropolitan Brewing. No registration required; Meet at Burnham Harbor.

Saturday June 3 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Departs from Bobby’s Bike Hike, 540 N. Lake Shore Drive

Ride your bike and support Black-owned businesses across the city with local outdoor adventure group, Outsider Chicago. The ride departs from Bobby’s Bike Hike (where you can rent a bike if you need one) and loops through several neighborhoods with stops at local businesses along the way. Also enjoy free post-ride drinks courtesy of Fat Tire. Reserve your spot for $15 online.

Saturday June 3 | 12:00–16:00

Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St.

The Chicagoland Adaptive Climbing Expo brings together beginning and longtime adaptive climbers. The partner event between Adaptive Adventures, Synergy Adaptive Athletics and the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab will showcase adaptive climbing methods and equipment and celebrate the achievements and camaraderie among Chicago’s adaptive climbing community. RSVP for $5 online.

sunday june 4 | 13:00-15:00

Washington Park Fieldhouse, 5531 S. King Drive

Identify native birds and plants on a guided nature walk with the Brown People Foundation and Feminist Bird Club Chicago, followed by a reflective journaling session. Both groups aim to promote inclusion in birding and the outdoors, while also raising funds and providing a safe outdoor space for BIPOC and LGBGTQ+ individuals. RSVP free online.

Monday June 5 | 7 p.m.–9 p.m.

First block of ascent 37, 108 N. State St. (Suite 420)

Come climb with the Asian Climbing Collective at First Ascent Block 37, a local climbing gym in the Loop. This beginner climbing event is open to members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. All ages and experience levels are welcome. No registration required; $15 for non-First Ascent members at the door.

Tuesday June 6 | 19:30-22:00

Meditation Point, 5800 N. Lake Shore Drive (near the eastern edge of Kathy Osterman Beach)

Hang out with other bikers from the city around the campfire. Hosted by local cycling group, Out Our Front Door, this month’s event is at Meditation Point in Edgewater, near Hollywood Beach. These monthly gatherings continue throughout the summer in city parks, taverns and community spaces. No registration required; meet at the Meditation Point.

Saturday June 10 | 10 a.m.–11 a.m.

Lincoln Park North Pond, 2610 N. Cannon Drive

Slow down and smell the wildflowers! Explore one of Chicago’s largest urban parks with the Lincoln Park Conservancy as you take a guided group walk along Lincoln Park’s North Pond. Along the way, you’ll learn about the city’s native plants from other nature lovers. Reserve your place for free online.

Saturday June 10–Sunday June 11 | 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Ford Calumet Environmental Center, 11555 S. Stony Island Ave.

Injuries occur while exploring outdoors. Prepare to treat, manage, and prevent injury in remote settings in this intensive SOLO Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training. In partnership with Chicago Adventure Therapy, a local outdoor nonprofit, this introductory course will help you develop decision-making and management skills to address common backcountry injuries. Reserve your spot for $325 online.

Saturday June 17 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

South Shore Nature Sanctuary, 7059 S. South Shore Drive

Participate in volunteer stewardship at the South Shore Nature Sanctuary, a 6-acre wilderness and urban wildlife preserve on the south side. Future voluntary stewardship days fall on the third Saturday of each month. All ages and abilities are welcome to join. Volunteers should bring a water bottle and weather-appropriate clothing, and tools and gloves will be provided. No registration required; meet at the entrance of the nature sanctuary.

Saturday June 17 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Big Marsh Park, 11559 S. Stony Island Ave.

The inaugural Big Marsh Park Arts Festival celebrates local artists and the urban nature of Chicago. At this South Side community event, connect with local makers and makers, join workshops, and explore trails throughout the park on foot or by bike. Food will be available at Big Marsh Park’s new Nature Trail Café. Interested patrons and instructors can contact the Friends of Big Marsh to help. No registration required; meet at Big Marsh Park.

Sunday June 18 | 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Electric Gnat Ranch, Address TBD, Libertyville

Take a slow walk through the woods and celebrate Pride. A traditional Japanese forest meditation and mindfulness practice, this guided forest bathing experience is family-friendly and open as a safe space for all queer and trans people. After the guided walk, enjoy tea, snacks, and connect with other families. Reserve your spot online; $32 per adult and free for youth 17 and under.

Wednesday, June 21 | 18:00

Departs from Replay Lakeview, 3439 N. Halsted St.

Combine biking and community action with Cruise Chicago, a group that nods to the historical queer connection in spaces often considered strange and unfamiliar. Members of the Cruise Chicago community also have access to complimentary Cruise Community Bike Share, an initiative implemented to remove barriers to accessibility to the Cruise experience for those without bikes. Reserve your place online.

Sunday June 25 | 13:00–14:30

Washington Park, 5030 S. King Drive

Do you like history and are you also curious about identifying native and migratory birds in Chicago? Join the Bronzeville Historical Society and local African-American author, activist, and historian, sherry williams, to learn about the birds that call Washington Park home and the history of the neighborhood. Williams will provide narration about these local birds and a historical tour that will accompany them during the guided birding experience. Reserve your spot for $25 online.

Tuesday June 27 | 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

Bitter Pops, 3357 N. Lincoln Ave.

Get together with other city dwellers who love the outdoors at the Mappy Hour Chicago Monthly Mixer. Come prepared to look at maps of local hiking and biking trails, talk about upcoming adventures, learn about where to explore the urban wilderness in and around Chicago, and meet new outdoor friends. Plus, enjoy Bitter Pop’s $6 Courage Lager on tap all night. Reserve your place for free online.

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