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  • Nestled in the beautiful forested bluffs of the Illinois River, visitors to this unique 540-acre Nature Center and Preserve will experience the natural realm of Illinois, where they will find:

    • Seven miles of hiking trails through both forested woodlands and prairie openings
    • A natural history museum and bird observation room
    • The Trailhead Nature Store with nature-oriented and environmentally-friendly items
    • A variety of educational programs
    • Over 500 acres of dedicated Illinois State Nature Preserve


    Forest Park Nature Center Hours

    Nature Center – open year round
    M-Sa    9:00 am-5:00 pm
    Su       1:00-5:00 pm

    Trails – Open year round; daily dawn to dusk

    Some wheelchair accessible trails

    Dogs not allowed


    The Nature Center is proud to be a site along the  Illinois River Road

    Forest Park Nature Center's "Tracks and Trails"

    Forest Park Nature Center publishes a bimonthly newsletter, Tracks and Trails, that has complete listings of free public programs, special events, classes, membership opportunities, nature related articles and new arrivals at the Trailhead Nature Store.

    The April/May 2017 Tracks and Trails is now available online!

    You can also receive a complimentary Tracks and Trails by visiting the Nature Center.

    Join C.O.R.E.

    We invite you to support Forest Park Nature Center by joining our C.O.R.E. group. C.O.R.E. stands for Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts. Your contributions not only help in the protection of the Park District’s natural areas, but you also receive the following membership benefits.

    Membership benefits include:

    • 1-year subscription to our bi-monthly Tracks and Trails newsletter
    • 10% discount in the Trailhead Nature Store
    • Reduced fees for Nature Center classes
    • Invitations to members-only events
    • Discounts at over 150 nature centers throughout the U.S.

    Membership Levels 
    Endowment – $250+
    Enriching – $100
    Supporting – $80
    Contributing – $55
    Family- $30
    Individual- $25
    Senior- $20
    Student- $20

    Click HERE to download the Membership Form!

    Download the 2016 ANCA Reciprocal Member List.anca_reciprocal_member_list2016