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River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook

#9 of 39 in Trails in Illinois
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Protecting over 68,000 acres of the forests, prairies, and wetlands remaining in northeastern Illinois, the Forest Preserves of Cook County provides an escape into a world teeming with wildlife and rich with outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities.

River Trail Nature Center is one of six educational facilities in the Forest Preserves that provide a gateway for discovery of the natural diversity of Cook County. The naturalist staff and visitor center offer educational programs and interpretive displays about the plants, animals, and natural communities of the region.

Visitors can experience nature through the 1.5 miles of walking trails that wind their way through the ecosystems created by the Des Plaines River and surrounding preserves. Floodplain forest, backwater wetlands, oak-hickory woodland , and an ancient remnant of sugar maple-basswood forest make River Trail a mix of habitats for an amazing variety of birds, insects, plants, and wildlife.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County, with nearly 70,000 acres, is the largest urban forest preserve district in the United States. It receives an estimated 40 million visits each year, providing an escape into a world teeming with wildlife and rich with outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities. Within its boundaries are rare habitats that offer plant and animal diversity on par with the rainforests of the world. This natural heritage offers something for everyone.

This page has been created for the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s River Trail Nature Center and its patrons to share news, ideas and events. Any comments that include political ranting, off-topic attacks or abusive language will be removed.
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River Trail Nature Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
48 reviews
  • My granddaughter and I were done with remote learning for the day and needed an excursion. I knew of River Trail Nature Center as I had been there years before when my own kids were little. I knew.....  more »
  • The Center will be closed from 2:00 p.m. December 31 and all New Year's Day. The logs are gone, but the center parking spaces in the lot are still blocked off to prevent overcrowding. The Cook...  more »
  • It’s a great place, although we spend most of our time watching the turtles. We love all the animals there and the nature walks. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking to spend an afternoon in nature.
  • Gorgeous place, very peaceful, so magical💫💙⭐💙💫

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