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Parks and Recreation

Joliet encompasses much in the way of both active and passive recreation. Comprising the community’s landscape is a medley of amenity-filled parks, multi-use trails, golf courses and preserved natural areas.

One of the city’s largest sources for parks and recreation is the Joliet Park District. The park district operates nearly 80 well-maintained parks and facilities, and offers hundreds of different programs to residents of all ages. From early childhood learning, senior trips, and sports for youth and adults to arts and leisure classes, safety courses and performing arts, there is truly something for everyone through the Joliet Park District.

Parks are scattered throughout the community, offering picnic areas, athletic fields, play equipment, tennis and basketball courts, recreational trails and plenty of open space. The park district’s list of rec facilities is extensive, as well, and includes: the Hartman Recreation Center, the Provena Saint Joseph Inwood Athletic Club at Inwood Park, the Multi-Purpose Center, Joliet Memorial Stadium and three golf courses. It also manages Pilcher Park, a 640-acre outdoor haven featuring multi-use trails, natural habitats, the Bird Haven Greenhouse & Conservatory, the Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center and the Pilcher Park Nature Center.

In 2002, the Joliet Park District and the City of Joliet came together to open Splash Station Water Park – a summertime favorite. The park is home to the Midwest’s only 200-foot, six-lane racing slide, along with an 865-foot lazy river, various tube and body slides, a zero-depth pool, a sand play area and full-service concessions.

The options for recreation don’t end there. The Forest Preserve District of Will County maintains several trails in the Joliet area.

Several portions of the 1,200-acre Rock Run Greenway are located here, including the Black Road Access, Paul V. Nichols Access, the I&M Canal Access and the Rock Run Trail/Joliet Junction Trail loop.

The district also oversees the Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, which is an access point to the 12.5-mile I&M Canal Trail/Centennial Trail, which links City Center in Joliet to the Centennial Trail in Cook County.

The Greater Joliet YMCA is another staple in the local recreational community. Tens of thousands of residents use the Y each year for activities including aquatics, youth sports leagues, health and wellness programs and before- and after-school day care. The Greater Joliet YMCA currently operates four branches in the region, and thanks to a recent official charter, a fifth branch, to be located in nearby Morris, is in the Y’s near future.

For those who prefer to exercise their minds, the Joliet Public Library system has been serving Joliet residents since 1876. The Joliet Public Library currently offers two facilities housing more than 300,000 books, 400 magazine subscriptions, numerous audio and videotapes, nationwide magazines and newspapers, reference materials and a calendar year of programming for all ages.

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