ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Department of Natural Resources is gearing up for an increase in visitors to parks and lakes as the weather gets warmer.
One hiker, Kloey Smith, is taking full advantage of the great weather on her hike at Ferne Clyffe, but she says safety is her number one priority after finding out about the 22-year-old who fell to his death at the waterfall on this trail.
"I feel pretty safe like it's a pretty clear path and you know I'm aware of my surroundings," said Smith. "So, I usually don't have any problems."
Smith goes hiking prepared.
"It sounds crazy but I have my phone, even though the signal is off," she said. "But like in case something does happen, it's always on me. But other than that I just make sure I have somebody with me."
Her friend Sierra Sanders also prepares before coming out.
"Just be alert at all times and definitely your footing because there are a lot of different animals or species around this area," Sanders said.
Ed Cross, the IDNR Spokesperson, reminds when going on a hike let someone know if you go alone or go in a group, dress for the occasion, bring water, but more importantly stick to the designated trail.
Cross also explains the rules for boating.
"If you're going to be out boating, make sure you have a designated driver with you if you plan on consuming alcohol," Cross said. "It's also a reminder that while on a moving boat all riders are required to wear a life jacket."
Even though Sanders is cautious of the rules and being safe, she doesn't forget to take in nature.
"It's been so nice out and we are super thankful for that and we just wanted to be able to come out and look around and appreciate what southern Illinois has to offer," Sanders said.