Directors Message

“It’s a new season. A perfect opportunity to do something new, something bold, something beautiful.” – Anonymous

Last year, I had the privilege of traveling to Egypt and embark on an adventure that changed my perspective on life.

As part of the trip, we were presented with an optional adventure - an opportunity to climb Mount Sinai. The mountain is 7,400 feet high, and the hike would take four hours to climb up and three hours to come down. I have never hiked more than one or two hours at a time before, so I knew this would be challenging.

Alongside my niece, Bency, we committed to the challenge. The climb started at 1:00 am, and our goal was to get to the top of the mountain before sunrise. The local guide was very experienced. He had us take frequent breaks - as often as every 10 to 15 minutes. At each stop, we took a few minutes to peer over the mountain side into the night sky. Everything was pitch black except for the stars twinkling brightly all around us. The frequent breaks enabled us to complete the hike as well as enjoy the journey. The hike was extremely hard, and I consider it one of the most strenuous tasks I have ever done. At the same time, it is one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences of my life.

On that hike, I realized that it is never too late to try something new. With that experience, began a new season in my life - one that involves much more physical activity than in the past. Since that climb to Mount Sinai, I have completed a few hikes locally and intend to do much more in the future.

We might not have Mount Sinai in Gurnee, but we do have many beautiful and safe trails throughout Gurnee. The Lake County Forest Preserve has some of my favorite trails to walk and explore nature. We recently connected the Forest Preserve Trail to Viking Park which makes walking in Gurnee even easier!

This fall season, I encourage you to try something new, which may require you to take a bold step, but it could lead to a beautiful experience. Gurnee Park District recently tried something new, and launched a new movement called GO GURNEE. It encourages everyone to walk at least 30 minutes each day. As everyone in the medical field would agree, a simple 30 minute walk has tremendous health benefits.

As part of the GO GURNEE movement, we created a new hiking program. I hope you will find the time and energy to join us on these hikes. Please visit our website for the various dates, times and options.

As we approach this new season, try something new and enjoy each moment. Sometimes in order to make it to the top of the mountain, you need to stop and take a break. I encourage everyone this season to pause, reflect and enjoy all Gurnee has to offer you and your family - then keep moving!

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions to further enhance our services. I also encourage you to share your inspiring experience with the community. Please feel free to call me at 847-623-7788 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me with your comments, feedback and stories.


Susie Kuruvilla, CPA, CPRP
Executive Director

We Take Customer Service Seriously

Our values, affectionately known as "SOFFI Star" are Serve, Ownership, Family, Fun and Integrity. Our staff and volunteers strive for standards that uphold these values both in the workplace and out in our community.

We stand by our pledge to provide the best recreation and programing. 

Americans with Disabilities Act

Gurnee Park District intends to comply with the intent and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. If you need any special accommodations, please call Gurnee Park District, so we can make the necessary arrangements.  

Gurnee Park District works with Warren Special Recreation Association (WSRA) to provide assistance in our programs.

ADA Officer:
Jeff Reinhard, CPRP
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