News & Events

Jingle Hike Challenge

2021 Jingle Hike Challenge

The Jingle Hike Challenge is back for another year! Our staff have come up with 12 very special places in southwestern Illinois to explore this winter. 

About the Jingle Hike Challenge

Jingle bells will be 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

Registration begins October 11, 2021 and ends December 20, 2021. Cost is $25 per person and includes t-shirt, printed map with instructions, entry number, and chance to win great prizes.

You must register by November 1 to get your t-shirt. (Registrations after November 1 will not receive a t-shirt).

Packet and T-Shirt Pickup:

Saturday November 20, 2021

10:00 am – noon

Toolen’s Running Start, 3260 Green Mount Crossing Drive, O’Fallon, IL 62269 

Anyone who is unable to come during this time can pick up their packets at the HeartLands Conservancy office at 29 E Main Street in Belleville during business hours or pay an extra $5.00 to have the t-shirt and packet shipped to you. 

Shirts not picked up by January 31, 2022 will be donated.

Can I still play if I don’t register? 

Anyone is welcome to find the jingle bells, snap a selfie, and share it on social media using #jinglehike. However, you will only be entered to win prizes if you are registered. 

Jingle Hike 2021 Tshirt

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.  NEW 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.


  • 1st Grand Prize: Camp Ondessonk Two-Night Retreat for up to 6 people*
  • 2nd Grand Prize: Touch of Nature Adventure Package for up to 15 people*
  • Alpine Shop Gift Cards
  • $50 Gift Certificate to Sandy’s Back Porch
  • Hoodie from Toolen’s Running Start (4)

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

2021 Challenge Prize Winners will be announced live on our facebook page in early January.

Jingle Hike Participants

2021 Jingle Hike Locations:

1. SIUE Nature Preserve, Edwardsville
  Site Host: SIUE  |  Sponsor: Lochmuller Group
2. Lewis & Clark State Historic Site, Hartford
  Site Host: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
3. Highland Silver Lake Park, Highland
  Site Host: City of Highland
4. Wilson Park, Granite City
  Site Host: Granite City Park District
5. Arlington Wetlands, Pontoon Beach
  Site Host: Madison County
6. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Collinsville
  Site Host: Illinois Department of Natural Resources |  Sponsor: Bauerhaus Design
7. Engelmann Farm Park, Shiloh
  Site Host: St. Clair County
8. Gateway East Trestle Trail, Lebanon
  Site Host: Gateway East Trails
9. St. Clair County Greenspace Bluff Park Preserve, Belleville
  Site Host: St. Clair County Greenspace Foundation
10. Waterloo Reservoir Trail, Waterloo
  Site Host: Waterloo Park District / Sponsor: Property Peddler
11. Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve, Ava
  Site Host: Illinois Department of Natural Resources
12. Kinkaid Lake Trail, Ava
  Site Host: US Forest Service – Shawnee National Forest

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.