The Run Down

Put on a comfy pair of walking shoes and bring your appetite because you're venturing out on a day trip to Lockport, Illinois. You'll start the day with some vegan eats and then head to the #5 ranked disc golf course in the world. It's set in the woods between steep dolomite cliffs and ancient ravines. Here are the details.

1. Lunch @ Vegan Cafe

2. Prep @ Dellwood Disc Golf

3. Play @ The Canyons Disc Golf Course

1. Vegan Cafe

Our first stop is The Vegan Cafe in the historic district of Lockport. We’re grabbing lunch before our big round of disc golf. Here’s what you need to know about this place.

For starters, everything at The Vegan Cafe is raw, non-GMO, gluten free, organic, and of course, vegan. For those unfamiliar with a raw vegan menu, that just means nothing is cooked with heat to maintain the integrity of the natural vitamins and nutrients in the ingredients.

But this place isn’t just for vegans either, says owner Marguerite Baltages-Ruminski who took over the cafe seven years ago. The menu features a wide array of creative dishes that will make you forget about your meat-eating ways.

Today for lunch we sampled two flatbreads, one with Pumpkin seed cheese w/ pad thai sauce and another with cashew “parmesan” cheese and tomatoes.  The plate also featured a fruit salad made with apples, oranges, and a vanilla drizzle and a tossed salad of mixed greens, sesame seeds, and garlic ginger dressing. All items, including dressings, are made from scratch and in-house with organic ingredients.

For dessert we indulged in a big slice of their chocolate raspberry cheesecake, a limited offering as their cheesecake flavors change every couple days.

Their guilt-free desserts in particular, that are sweetened with dates and agave instead of refined white sugars, will have you coming back for more. An added bonus is that all money made after covering operating costs is donated to charity. Truly a meal you can feel good about all around.

2. Dellwood Disc Golf

Just a 5-minute drive from downtown Lockport and you’ll be in Dellwoods Park, home to the Dellwoods Disc Golf Shop and Canyons Disc Golf Course. Sean Callahan operates the shop and helped design the disc golf course which officially opened in 2014.

 The shop is excellent for beginners and pros, with everything you could need, from a wide selection of discs to other accessories, apparel, and bags. If it is your first time and you are unsure about investing any money in equipment, Callahan says he allows visitors to borrow some used discs to check out the course before committing to a purchase. For more serious disc golfers, the shop hosts several tournaments a year and a league.

3. The Canyons Disc Golf Course

Once you’ve collected all your supplies, you can head out to the course with 27 holes that will take you in a loop.

Even if it’s your first time disc golfing, it’s easy to get started. It plays just like traditional golf, but instead of clubs and golf balls, you have discs that are similar to frisbees.

Serious players will have multiple discs depending on the distance (long-range, mid, putting), but you can start with just one.

The elevation of this course makes it unique and helped it rank as the 5th best disc golf course in the world, according to UDisc. With that in mind, bring a comfy pair of shoes with some traction as you take in the fresh air and traverse this course.