Sign up for the Virtual Run/Walk and hit these fun trails while you support literacy in Aurora!

Covid 19 may have put a damper on large public activities, we can still work together to increase literacy and have fun doing it.  The Aurora Public Library District Foundation’s Virtual 5k Run/Walk, Lace Up for Literacy, is the perfect solution for all.  You get to enter a fun walk/run with a great T-shirt, swag bag filled with gifts and coupons and receive a race medal for your accomplishments.  Plus, your registration fees and donations will allow the Foundation to continue to provide much needed books, literacy materials and activities to support under-served families in our community.

You can walk or run YOUR 5k anywhere:  the park, the gym, or at home on your treadmill.  But for those who love to get out in nature, here are ten of the best and most scenic trails in the Aroura area.

  1. Fox River Trail—If you like a variety in scenery on your walks and runs, choose a section of the 43-mile Fox River Trail. You will pass city streets scattered with quaint shops and eateries, pass woodlands and marshes, and view the river dams and waterfalls along the way.
  2. Virgil Gilman Trail – Popular with marathon runners, this trail offers diverse terrain and offers plenty of shade for runners to enjoy.
  3. Waubonsee Creek Trail—Walk or run this trail and you can visit the Eola Road Branch while you are there. Keep traveling a mile or so and you will connect with the Waubonsee Lake Park Trail that leads to a park, picnic site, and a fishing pier near the lake.
  4. Illinois Prairie Path – You are sure to find lots to enjoy along the 61-mile Prairie Path. Famed for being the first rail-to-trail conversion in the U.S. in the 1960’s, the path follows the right-of-way of the former Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railway.
  5. Mastodon Lake Trail – Great for families! Share the history of this trail with your kids as you walk its sloping 1.5-mile paved pathway.  When the lake was first dug back in the 1930’s, archaeologists reportedly discovered the bones and tusks of mastodons in the earth.  The prehistoric pachyderms roamed this area more than 22,000 years ago.
  6. Oakhurst Forest Preserve – For those who like a challenge, try scaling one of the tallest hills in the county. The view from the top if this peak includes Lake Patterson and nearby woods.  You can complete your 5K on the adjoining trails that lead through fields of wildflowers.
  7. Swamp White Oak Trail – A popular route for beginning runners and bird watchers! The trail is less than a half mile from start to finish and offers walkers and runners a chance to spot wild turkeys, hummingbirds, great blue herons and a variety of woodpeckers, to name a few of the species of birds you are likely to see.  The silvery-leafed oaks along this trail are particularly stunning in the fall when their foliage turns bright orange.
  8. Great Western Trail – Heading a little further north in Kane County you can hike, run or walk starting at the trailhead located on Dean Street in St. Charles, passing through scenic LeRoy Oaks and leading all the way to the city of Sycamore in DeKalb County.
  9. Aurora West Forest Preserve—Located along Hankes Road in Aurora, this preserve offers restored wetlands and prairie plants and connects to the Virgil Gilman regional bike trail. In addition to offering bike and nature trails, and off-leash dog areas, the preserve is home to a model aircraft field where aficionados of model planes and drones can be seen flying their crafts through the skies.
  10. Fabyan Forest Preserve – Enjoy a walk or run through this forest preserve and treat yourself to a museum tour of the Fabyan Villa, a stroll through the one-acre Japanese Garden, and view the 68-foot 1870 Dutch windmill on site.

Registering for the Virtual 5K helps reach vulnerable kids and their families.

There are two easy ways to help vulnerable kids receive the materials they need to stay connected to books and resources:  First, you can Lace-Up for Literacy by registering for the Virtual 5k Walk/Run.  The virtual race is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors either on your own or with your family and is completely pet friendly.  Plus, your registration fees directly impact kids and help them in the race towards literacy.

Those who sign up at will receive a swag bag filled with cool prizes and coupons from local businesses, a participation medal, and a great race t-shirt.  Plus, the proceeds from the registrations will go towards helping our Aurora families receive the books and resources they need during Covid 19.

Second, you can offer a one-time monetary donation to help support the Literacy Heroes program or make an even greater impact by sponsoring a child on a monthly basis.  Here is the link to the Literacy Heroes sponsorship page