River Trail Nature Center

River Trail Nature Center Entrance

For 10,000 years, since the last glaciers melted away, the Des Plaines River Valley has been home and highway for plants, animals and people. Only a few hundred years ago American Indians paddled their canoes along the river and hunted bear, deer and elk along its banks, while trappers and fur traders came searching for beaver in its waters.

 

A fragment of that world has been preserved in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

 

River Trail Nature Center tells the story of native plants and animals that remain in the urban environment. Here you may walk through sugar maple woods along the river on self-guiding trails, learn of the past and present in the exhibit building, and visit a few of our native animals.

 

Younger children may enjoy River Trail’s nature discovery area, where kids can climb in an eagle nest, crawl in a fox den, create their own puppet shows, and more.

 

Programs and special events are held throughout the year. Trail maps and interpretive publications are available at the front desk, and naturalists will answer your questions.

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3120 Milwaukee Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062

847-824-8360

Hours: March – May
Building 9 am – 4:30 pm, closed Friday
Grounds 8 am – 5 pm
Hours: June – August
Building Mon-Thu: 9 am – 6 pm
Fri: Closed
Sat-Sun: 9 am – 5 pm
Grounds Mon-Fri: 8 am – 6 pm
Sat-Sun: 8 am – 5 pm
Hours: September – October
Building 9 am – 4:40 pm, closed Friday
Grounds 8 am – 5 pm
Hours: November – February
Building 9 am – 3:30 pm, closed Friday
Grounds 8 am – 4 pm

Closed:
Thanksgiving, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day

Events List Navigation

May 2015
Sun, May 24 • 1:30 pm
Free

Creature Feature

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, May 25 • 1:30 pm
Free

Creature Feature

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, May 27 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 31 • 1:30 pm
Free

River Round-Up

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
June 2015
Tue, Jun 2 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, Jun 3 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jun 6 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jun 7 • 1:30 pm
Free

Trees are Tremendous

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jun 7 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jun 9 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jun 13 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jun 14 • 1:30 pm
Free

Snakes

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jun 14 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jun 16 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, Jun 17 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesFri, Jun 19 • 7:30 pm
$2

Nightlife: Raptor Identification

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jun 20 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jun 21 • 1:30 pm
Free

The Buzz on Bees

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jun 21 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Jun 22 - Thu, Jun 25 • 9:30 am
$20

Discovery Days Camp

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jun 23 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jun 27 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jun 28 • 1:30 pm
Free

Wetland Wrigglers

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jun 28 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jun 30 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
July 2015
SeriesSat, Jul 4 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jul 5 • 1:30 pm
Free

American Raptors

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jul 5 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jul 7 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, Jul 8 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jul 11 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jul 12 • 1:30 pm
Free

Life Under a Log

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jul 12 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Jul 13 - Thu, Jul 16 • 9:30 am
$20

Nature Explorers Camp

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jul 14 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jul 18 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jul 19 • 1:30 pm
Free

Illinois Mammals

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jul 19 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jul 21 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, Jul 22 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesFri, Jul 24 • 7:30 pm
Free

Nightlife: Campfire Stories

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Jul 25 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Jul 26 • 1:30 pm
Free

Bike the Trails

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Jul 26 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Jul 28 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
August 2015
SeriesSat, Aug 1 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Aug 2 • 1:30 pm
Free

Amphibians

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Aug 2 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Aug 3 - Thu, Aug 6 • 9:30 am
$20

Junior Keepers Camp

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Aug 4 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Aug 8 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Aug 9 • 1:30 pm
Free

Dog Days of Summer

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Aug 9 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Aug 11 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, Aug 12 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesFri, Aug 14 • 7:30 pm
Free

Nightlife: Bats

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Aug 15 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Aug 16 • 1:30 pm
Free

Owls

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Aug 16 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Aug 18 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Aug 22 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Aug 23 • 1:30 pm
Free

People’s Choice Awards

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Aug 23 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Tue, Aug 25 • 5 PM
Free

Between Two Stumps

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesWed, Aug 26 • 10 AM
$1

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Aug 29 • 1:30 pm
Free

Novice Photography Workshop

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSat, Aug 29 • 3 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Aug 30 • 11 AM
$2

Family Fish School

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
SeriesSun, Aug 30 • 8 PM
Free

What’s on the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
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Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County