Can you believe the weather? It has been so beautiful! Here, in Chicago, it doesn't feel like October at all!  I am hoping to take advantage of this weather and go for a hike to look at the great fall colors. You should consider doing this too, especially since we now have a 3-day weekend. And the great thing is, you don't have to drive far to see the bursts of flaming reds, and bright oranges. I have a book called 60 Hikes within 60 Miles, Chicago edition. It tells you all sorts of places you can go hiking, gives you all kinds of info like trail length, difficulty, scenery, how to get there, etc. I've hiked some pretty fantastic places (Glacier, Acadia, Grand Tetons National Parks to mention a few).  While Chicago and its surrounding area can't quite compare to those, we do, surprisingly, have a few good options nearby. There are inland trails (if you like prairie and grass) or trails along Lake Michigan (I prefer water). Also, if you want to drive an hour or so, there are places in Southern Wisconsin or west of Chicago at Starved Rock State Park.   

Don't live in this neck of the woods? No problem. You can find some great hiking places near your home too!  There are other versions of this "60 Hikes..." book for  cities like New York, Atlanta, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Sacramento, Harrisburg.... you get the idea!   

So, find your city, pick a trail, have a picnic, and take a hike (I mean this in a good way, not the get outta here sort of thing)! Enjoy those leaves falling, and the sound of leaves crunching underneath your hiking shoes.Those who know me, know that I won't be enthusiastically recommending that you enjoy winter outside. I hate winter, but that's a topic for another day.