What we're about

Dear fellow Dog Trekkers:

1. THE TAKE-AWAY: Dogs are pack animals. Humans too! We love to hang with members of our own and nothing's better then a Sunday morning trek (I prefer "trek" to "walk") with both - dogs & humans. It's healthy, low impact, eco-friendly and your dog will truly love you for it. And hopefully s/he will sleep all night. Maybe you too! Our treks are approximately two hours. We Meetup EVERY 3rd Sunday of EVERY month (except August - too hot for wearing a fur coat!) unless the weather is really, really nasty. Join us.

It's always a hoot when we move-out with a dozen plus dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds yelping their heads off. It's Iditarod w/o ice, snow, frozen rivers, blizzards or chapped lips! No bears or wolves either.

2. THE FLUFF: As mentioned, we Meetup once a month, except August, for a Green Bay Trail trek. If there is enough demand we can have more than one trek a month - with alternating pack-leaders. Same thing for the trail's: We can always explore other near north-shore trails and treks - the Skokie Lagoon's Forest Preserve has a great two hour-ish loop trek. It's fantastic year-round.

3. OUR CORE TREK IS THE GREEN BAY TRAIL: From the south going north the Green Bay Trail is a forested, sometimes heavily forested, asphalt/gravel/dirt sided RR frontage with some gorgeous residential streets in the beginning and lots of well-groomed "hidden" parks. We start in Wilmette, walk through Kenilworth and turnaround in Winnetka. Tiger lily's are everywhere in the summer, autumn colors can be fantastic, winter is dark and deep and spring is a... tease! I suggest you wear a blaze orange hat if you have (or can get) one. As your fearless leader, I always do. See Q5.

3b. Side Treks: Want to do something a little different then the Green Bay Trail? How about a stroll through the residential neighborhoods? To Gillson Park/Harbor? The Bahai Temple? The Historic CAGE District? The Nun Cemetery? No-mans Land? [Yes, you read that right - the sleepy north shore town of Wilmette has BOTH a Nun Cemetery AND a No-mans Land! Guess which of the two got the BIG re-development bucks! haha] Side treks are a lot of fun! When we Meetup at the Metra Lot, those who wish to branch-out simply let me know and I will tell you where to go (heehee). You will self-lead and be forever known as "Platoon B: The Lost Platoon". Those who wish to do the core trek, the Green Bay Trail Trek, will move out in "Platoon A". (I will stay with Platoon A for the sake of newby's, late comers, late bloomers, reprobates, ilk, etc.).

3c. Finding our Trailhead for the Green Bay Trail, is simple: We Meetup fifty-ish feet DIRECTLY across from the Wilmette Fire Station, 1304 Lake Avenue, Wilmette in the north-end of the Metra parking lot. To put it slightly differently, we Meetup at the s/e corner of Lake Avenue & Green Bay Road, Wilmette, Il. If our Meetup site had its own address, it would be 1303 Lake Ave. Parking is FREE on weekends. This is our trailhead. From there we will trek north on the Green Bay Trail - it is clearly marked. We out-trek for one hour and then back-trek for one hour to our trailhead (Now you see why I prefer the word "trek"... to say we will "out-walk" and "back-walk" sounds sooo stooopid. Plus "trek" is a cool word!)

Want a Green Bay Trail Map? https://www.traillink.com/trail-maps/green-bay-trail/ Don't let the total length of the trail shock you - we only go one hour "in-country" and then back one hour. We then have an optional noon-ish tailgate. Its BYOB (humans) and BYOMB - Bring your own Milk Bones (dogs).


Now for the basic housekeeping stuff:

4. CANINE GEAR (suggested minimum): Pooch poop bags, water & a pooch bowl - there is only one fountain on the trail. It usually works (?).

5. HUMAN GEAR (suggested minimum): Comfortable shoes, human water, weather gear, sunglasses and a hat - hopefully blaze orange (yes.. I'm a "nag"!). A blaze orange hat will make us stick-out to each other, kamikaze bikers and to the world!. Note: As a former "first-responder" keeping a blaze orange hat in you car 24/7 is a great safety tip. Along with duct tape: I once set a dogs broken leg with some tree branches and duct tape. Festivus Miracle's are everywhere. You just need to look.

6. RESCUE & SHELTER GROUPS are strongly encouraged to bring their charges: The more the merrier. Sorry, no cats or edible mammals.

7. GOT DOG-FRIENDS? Got dog-less friends who love dogs & who like to walk? Bring 'em.

8. WEATHER POLICY: Naturally if the weather is exceptionally nasty we will cancel. Be sure to check your email the night (or morning) before a trek - especially if Tom Skilling is in a bad mood. I will not cancel for a minor "chance of showers/snow" forecast. Thunder, extreme heat/cold and Armageddon type stuff... yes.

9. A (human) Treat: Senator George Graham Vest's short, three paragraph, summation speech (c. 1855) "Tribute to the Dog". It will bring a tear to your eye in a GOOD way. http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/vest.htm

Q & A's:

Q1: "Don't different dogs and different owners all trek at different pace's?" Yes... and it doesn't matter! Simply out-trek at you & your dogs pace for an hour and then back at your pace for an hour. We will all get back to the same place (our starting Trailhead) at the same time. It's a Festivus Miracle!

Q2: "What if I'm late and miss the pack on the out-trek?" No problem. Simply check your watch and out-trek half-way "time-wise" and return. Example: You arrive at the trailhead at 10:40 am and we are gone. It's one hour and twenty minute's until noon (80 minutes total). Following the Green Bay Trail signs, out-trek north for 40 minutes... turn-around and return. You should then catch us on our back-trek and now with us, be back at the trailhead at noon. Another Festivus Miracle! I will be wearing a blaze orange hat & jeans.

Q3: "My dog is up in his/her years (health) and can't do a two hour trek. Can we still come?" ABSOLUTELY... You can meet us at the start (10 am), trek-out with us for as long as you wish and return. Or purposely come late (11 am?), out-trek 30 minutes and back-trek 30 minutes for our tailgate "party'. See Q4.

Q4: "What happens at noon?" At noon-ish, we re-convene at the Metra Lot/Trailhead and... tail-gate (hee hee) and BYOB or______? There's a Walgreen's on the s/w corner of our trailhead in case you need something, a BP Gas Station on the n/w corner if nature calls (or the Metra Station). And as mentioned, the fire department is on the n/e corner if you have a stroke! The tail-gate also serves as a good cooling down for man & beast.

Q5: One final question: "Why do you recommend blaze orange hats? Its not hunting season." Google "Half crazed, self-absorbed, moronic bicyclists/joggers with itty-bitty, extra small, pea-sized brain cell's." Consider yourself advised. I will bring some spare hats & sell them for my cost - ten bucks.

Barks & Yelps,

Jim McCarthy, Fearless Leader (I have a "Fearless Leader" patch that proves it. So there!)

Ps: I am regularly asked about the other groups I organize - I do three... they are:

1. (ART) Chicago Art Gallery, Museum & Fair Openings +
2. (WINE) North Shore Wine Group https://www.meetup.com/Highland-Park-Wine-Group/
3. (DOG’S) Dog Trekker's - Wilmette/North Shore Pack

Upcoming events (3)

AUG 16: As usual we will PASS on August. Typically to hot for our pooches.

As usual we will PASS on August. Typically to hot for our pooches. See everyone in September.

AUG 21: Humans nite out! FREE LIVE JAZZ at Polk Bros. Park (Navy Pier Campus)

Dear Fellow... Doggist's! As I have done in previous August's, I like to throw in a human event! Typically it is something at Ravinia - but not this year. I truly understand this event is a little out of our area... but it IS a lot of fun. AND ITS DOG FREE! So, without ado: THIS IS A OPEN AIR, CITY APPROVED, OUTDOOR EVENT: Live Jazz is a art form in every sense of the word. We will meetup in the REAR of the park (as we have done before in previous park events). The Polk Brothers Park is truly one of Chicago's SMALL PARK hidden gems. We did this event last month with another group and it was a fantastic evening. The view OVER the stage and downward, onto the lake is incredible! (The park is on a small hill looking down to the stage and then on to the harbor/lake. It's a visual treat.) Speaking of Treats! Food & Beverage Treats: We will be outside the Navy Pier complex... which as I see it you can BYOTreat's & BYOB. But be discreet re BYOB. Be sure to BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair). Rules: Masks and Social Distancing Rules are Fully Enforced. I have a CCL! (They have "chalked circles" for groups of six to sit in ... which is why we will sit in the rear so we can keep our circles together.) The LINK! https://navypier.org/events-and-public-programs/free-events-and-public-programs/listing/water-colors-king-olivers-lawn-party NOTE: I am also inviting my WINE group and my ART group. Be prepared to meet some interesting peeps. jim

SEP 20: Fall Dog Trek! YEAH!

Metra Station Parking Lot (far north end)

Welcome Back! We have all had a tough year... to put it gently. But Autumn is only eight-ish weeks away and the leaves will be turning. In more ways then one. As we get closer I will fill this site will a little more fluff. But for now, mark your calendars. BE SURE TO READ MY DOG JOKE IN THE PS! Jim, Toby Dog- pictured & Margo Dog (not pictured!)[masked] PS: A guy walks into a bar with his dog: Bartender: Sorry sir... but we don't allow dogs in here. Guy: I am blind! This is my seeing eye dog. Bartender: SIR... that dog is a Chihuahua! Guy: They gave a Chihuahua!!!

Past events (49)

July 19: CANCELLED. Heat Index to top 100 degrees.

Metra Station Parking Lot (far north end)

Photos (222)