News & Events

Jingle Hike Challenge

Jingle Hike Dates

The 2023 Jingle Hike Challenge has ended. Scroll down to see the tree answers.
Winners will be drawn on January 11 and contacted directly. Winners will also be posted below.

2023 Jingle Hike Challenge

Our staff have come up with 12 very special places in southwestern Illinois to explore this winter.

About the Jingle Hike Challenge

Jingle bells are tied to 12 trees in parks throughout southwestern Illinois from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day. Participants are asked to visit as many parks as they can, take a selfie with the bell, and submit the photo evidence using the QR code or link on the tag or map.  #JingleHike

2023 Jingle Hike Prize Winners

Thank you to all of our participants for the memories & to our 2023 Jingle Hike Challenge Winners… CONGRATULATIONS!

❄️ Bev Doolin – Two-night stay at Giant City Lodge
❄️ Brad Weisenstain – Four-Legged Hiker Prize
❄️ Charlotte Gerth – $50 Academy Sports & Outdoors Gift Card
❄️ DeAnn Doolittle – $50 Cabela’s Gift Card
❄️ Brittney Galle – $50 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card
❄️ Cindy Bales – Explore the Great Outdoors Gift Basket
❄️ David Marshall – 1-Year Subscription to Terrain Magazine
❄️ Ashley Lilly – Native Plant from HLC’s Native Plant Sale
❄️ Holly Morris – $25 Farm & Home Supply Gift Card
❄️ Susan Morgan – $25 Farm & Home Supply Gift Card
❄️ Susan Gruberman – Two 1-Day Passes to Climb SoiLL
❄️ Michelle Wilson – Two 1-Day Passes to Climb SoiLL
❄️ Thomas Fahey – Two 1-Day Passes to Climb SoiLL
❄️ Charles Gerth – Two 1-Day Passes to Climb SoiLL
❄️ Alicia Furlow – Two 1-Day Passes to Climb SoiLL

Are you one of our lucky winners?
We will reach out to you with more information on prize redemption.

Did you correctly identify the tree species for bonus entries during the Jingle Hike Challenge? If so, you’re probably curious if you were correct. Here are the correct tree identifications for the associated park bells for 2023:

Alton Riverfront Park: River Birch (Betula nigra)
Steve Bryant Park: Eastern Red Bud (Cercis canadensis)
Joe Glik Park: Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Drost Park: Tulip Poplar/Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Little Prairie Nature Trail: Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
Frank Holten State Park: Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
Breese Jaycee Park: Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
St. Ellen Mine Park: Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
Konarcik Park: Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Storment Hauss Preserve: Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Fults Hill Prairie: White Oak (Quercus alba)
Confluence Trail: Black Willow (Salix nigra)

Don’t forget to check back on January 11th for the announcement of the winners and prizes!

What are the rules?

  1. Visit as many of the parks as you can and find the trees with the jingle bells.
  2. Take a photo of yourself with the tree tag.
  3.  Submit your photo using the QR Code on the tag or brochure. More information will be provided in your registration packet. Each bell you find and submit = one entry. The more bells you find, the better your odds will be of winning a prize.
  4. Correctly identify the tree species (e.g., red oak) to get a bonus entry.


  • Grand prize: $350 Gift Card for a two-night stay for up to 4 at Giant City Lodge in Makanda*
  • Four-Legged Hiker Prize: Hiker’s Best Friend Gift Basket**

  • One-year subscription to Terrain Magazine
  • $50 Gift Card to Academy Sports & Outdoors
  • $25 Gift Card to Farm & Home Supply (2 winners)
  • $50 Gift Card to Cabela’s
  • Explore the Great Outdoors Gift Basket
  • $50 Gift Card to Bass Pro Shops
  • One-day pass for two to Climb So iLL (5 winners)
  • Certificate for one Native Plant from the HeartLands Conservancy 2024 Spring Native Plant Sale 

      * Must find at least 6 bells to qualify for the grand prize

    ** Must include a four-legged friend (i.e. dog) in at least one of your photo submissions to be entered in the four-legged hiker prize drawing

Thank you prize sponsors:

  • Academy Sports & Outdoors
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Cabela’s
  • Climb So iLL
  • Farm & Home Supply
  • Terrain Magazine

2023 Challenge Prize Winners will be announced live on our facebook page in early January and emailed to the winners.

Jingle Hike Participants

2023 Jingle Hike Locations

1. Steve Bryant Community Park, Bethalto
    Sponsored by: Balsters & Hinrichs, P.C.
   Host: Village of Bethalto

2. Riverfront Park, Alton
     Host: City of Alton

3. Joe Glik Park, Edwardsville
    Sponsored by: Scott Credit Union
    Host: City of Edwardsville

4. Drost Park, Maryville
    Sponsored by: Bauerhaus Design, Inc.
    Host: Village of Maryville

5. Jaycee Park, Breese
    Host: City of Breese

6. Little Prairie Nature Trail at Carlyle Lake Dam West, Carlyle
    Host: US Army Corps of Engineers – Carlyle Lake

7. St. Ellen Park, O’Fallon
    Sponsored by: Nancy Larson & Bill O’Hara
    Host: St. Clair County

8. Frank Holten State Park, Cahokia Heights
    Sponsored by: Atkins’ Acres Educational Farm
    Host: Illinois Department of Natural Resources

9. Konarcik Park, Waterloo
    Host: Waterloo Park District

10. Storment Hauss Nature Preserve, Red Bud
      Host: Clifftop

11. Fults Hill Prairie Nature Preserve, Prairie du Rocher
      Sponsored by: Pufalt-Pauley Insurance Agency
      Host: Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

12. Confluence Trail at Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam, Modoc
      Host: US Army Corps of Engineers – Kaskaskia River Project

Thank you to all the host locations for participating in the challenge!


HeartLands Conservancy wants you to have fun during this self-guided challenge. You, therefore, agree to participate at your own risk. Each park in the Challenge will have different conditions, terrain, rules, and facilities. HeartLands Conservancy is not responsible for the condition of parks, trails, and facilities in the challenge that are not owned by HeartLands Conservancy. Participants will likely need to drive to various locations to participate in the challenge. HeartLands Conservancy is not responsible for weather and road hazards that may occur during your participation – please adhere to all traffic laws, road closures, and weather-related alerts.

You agree to hold HeartLands Conservancy harmless for any accidents, injuries, or other problems that may arise during your participation in the Jingle Hike Challenge. By participating in the event, you – as well as anyone else in your photos – authorize HeartLands Conservancy to use your Jingle Hike photo submissions in social media and other HeartLands Conservancy publications, presentations, and marketing.

HeartLands Conservancy reserves the right to delete posts and disqualify any participant who posts what we determine to be obscene, lewd, discriminatory, or indecent photos or posts during the course of the jingle hike challenge.

Should you win a prize, HeartLands Conservancy will notify you via email. We will not share your personal information with outside entities without your permission.