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 – October
Building 9 am – 5 pm, closed Fridays
Grounds 8 am – 5 pm
Hours: November – February
Building 9 am – 4 pm, closed Fridays
Grounds 8 am – 4 pm

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

Events List Navigation

March 2017
Sat, Mar 4 • 1:30 pm
Free

Sap’s Rising

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Mar 4 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

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

Sap’s Rising

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Mar 5 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Mar 11 • 1:30 pm
Free

Sap’s Rising

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Mar 11 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

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

Sap’s Rising

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Mar 12 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Mar 18 • 1:30 pm
Free

Sap’s Rising

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Mar 18 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Don't MissSun, Mar 19 • 11 AM
Free

45th Annual Maple Syrup Festival

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Mar 19 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Wed, Mar 22 • 10 AM
Free

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Mar 25 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

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

Bucket Bug Hunt

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Mar 26 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
April 2017
Sat, Apr 1 • 10 AM
Free

Restoration Work Day

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 1 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 2 • 12 PM
Free

GPS Scavenger Hunt

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 2 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Wed, Apr 5 • 10 AM
Free

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Fri, Apr 7 • 7:30 pm
$2

Night Hike

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 8 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

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

Animal Evidence

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 9 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 15 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 16 • 11 AM
Free

Family Fun Drop In

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 16 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Wed, Apr 19 • 10 AM
Free

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 22 • 10 AM
Free

Restoration Work Day

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 22 • 1:30 pm
Free

Predators of Illinois’ Past

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 22 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesSun, Apr 23 • 1:30 pm
Free

Bird of the Month: Wood Duck

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 23 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, Apr 29 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

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

What’s in Bloom?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, Apr 30 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
May 2017
Wed, May 3 • 10 AM
Free

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Fri, May 5 • 7:30 pm
$2

Fireside Tales

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, May 6 • 11 AM
Free

Conservation @ Home Series: Easy Care Native Plants

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, May 6 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 7 • 10 AM
Free

Birding Basics for All Ages

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 7 • 1 PM
Free

Birding Basics for All Ages

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 7 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, May 13 • 9:30 am
Free

Jr. Nature Photography

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, May 13 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Let's Move! OutsideSun, May 14 • 1:30 pm
Free

Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 14 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Wed, May 17 • 10 AM
Free

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesSat, May 20 • 6 AM
Free

#BirdThePreserves Big Sit

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, May 20 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Bird The PreservesSun, May 21 • 1:30 pm
Free

Birds of Prey

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 21 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sat, May 27 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu

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

Bird of the Month: Baltimore Oriole

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Sun, May 28 • 3 PM
Free

What’s On the Menu?

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, May 29 • 1:30 pm
Free

Creature Feature

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Wed, May 31 • 10 AM
Free

Small Serendipity

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
June 2017
Mon, Jun 12 - Fri, Jun 16 • 9 AM
$150

Travelling Adventurers

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Jun 19 - Fri, Jun 23 • 9:30 am
$50

Jr Keepers

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
July 2017
Mon, Jul 10 - Fri, Jul 14 • 9:30 am
$50

Discovery Days Camp

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Jul 17 - Fri, Jul 21 • 9:30 am
$50

Nature Explorers Camp

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Jul 17 - Fri, Jul 21 • 1:30 pm
$50

Nature Explorers Camp

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook
Mon, Jul 24 - Fri, Jul 28 • 9:30 am
$50

Discovery Days Camp

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