Champaign County Forest Preserve District is bringing back its Snowflake Search beginning next week. From January 19th to February 28th, you are encouraged to visit the various forest preserves and see how many of the snowflake signs you can find. The snowflakes are small wooden discs, painted with various snowflake designs, that you’ll find along the trails. This year, they’ve included a special design with their 75th anniversary logo.
I think winter is sort of an underrated time to visit the preserves. In late 2020-early 2021, my family was pretty consistent about getting outside, despite the cold. We were determined not to go stir crazy while avoiding indoor spaces beyond our own house, and we discovered a new appreciation for our forest preserves. There was one particular afternoon where we hit the trails at Buffalo Trace in the midst of a pretty good little snow event. It was sort of magical. Will there be some times when your scenery is all brown? Yes. But the trails are pretty quiet, and it’s a great opportunity to get a little fresh air and solitude.
As you find the snowflakes, take a photo and post on the various social media outlets with the hashtag #CCFPDSnowflakeSearch.