PALOS HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — The Cook County Forest Preserve District drew a good-sized crowd Thursday morning for an open-air public meeting to discuss planned improvements to the Swallow Cliff Woods preserve in Palos Hills.

Plans include adding a warming shelter, bathrooms, concessions, and new workout areas.

One of the not-so-well-known gems of the Cook County Forest Preserve system, Swallow Cliff Woods is 800 acres of hilly wooded terrain, with trails, wetlands, and 125 limestone steps leading to the top of a 100-foot bluff overlooking a huge lawn. The steps once led to toboggan slides that were removed several years ago, but now are used for exercise.

“It’s a beautiful place. Its my sanctuary,” said Kim Robbins, from Homer Glenn.

She uses the stairs year-round for her workout.

“We actually will run up and down these stairs and it’s a fantastic workout,” she said.

Rich said he does the stairs 5 or 6 days a week.

“It’s a great workout; very addictive,” he said. “The county does a great job keeping the stairs clean during the winter. It’s a unique place.”

Kindy Kruller, the forest preserve district’s senior planner, said they are not planning to close the stairs during construction.

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