Trailside Museum of Natural History

Trailside is Transforming!

Several construction projects are taking place this summer and fall at Trailside Museum. The parking lot, walkways and interior will get a makeover. We’re also installing a new accessible walkway and accessible seating in our outdoor Nature Play Area. Please call Trailside at (708) 366-6530 before planning your trip.

Trailside Museum Entrance
Jump to:   Events | Hours & Location | Contact

 

Established in 1931, the Hal Tyrell Trailside Museum of Natural History served as the first public nature education facility of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Visitors to the Museum, housed in a historic mid-1870′s Victorian mansion, will discover displays of live native animals, colorful wildflower gardens, information about local wildlife and their habitats, and more.

Natural-surfaced hiking trails through the surrounding Forest Preserve wind through beautiful oak woodlands and floodplain forest, and to a pond and along the Des Plaines River.

 

Trailside Museum is child-friendly, and offers a wide variety of public nature programs and guided hikes every month, for children, families and adults. School groups and organizations are welcome to make reservations to visit, and will receive a customized tour with a naturalist. Trailside Museum is located at the western edge of suburban River Forest, and is easily reached by foot, bicycle, car, or public transportation.

 

 

Events

 

 

 

 

Location

738 Thatcher Ave
River Forest, IL 60305

 

Southwest corner at the intersection of Thatcher Ave and Chicago Ave.

 

 

Contact

708-366-6530

 

 

Hours of Operation

 

PLEASE NOTE: Several construction projects are taking place this summer and fall at Trailside Museum. The parking lot, walkways and interior will get a makeover. We’re also installing a new accessible walkway and accessible seating in our outdoor Nature Play Area. Please call Trailside at (708) 366-6530 before planning your trip.

 

LATEST CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Trailside’s building is closed until late August for improvements. Outdoor exhibits and grounds are open. Summer programming will not be impacted and is still ongoing, weather dependent. Thatcher Glen Parking Lot is closed for improvements.

 

June – August

Building: 9am – 4:30pm, closed Mondays
Grounds: 8am – 5pm

 

NEW! Summer Evening Hours: Building and grounds open Thursdays until 8pm.

 

September – October

Building: 9 am – 4:45 pm, closed Fridays
Grounds: 8 am – 5 pm

 

November – February

Building: 9 am – 3:45 pm, closed Fridays
Grounds: 8 am – 4 pm

 

March – May

Building: 9 am – 4:45 pm, closed Fridays
Grounds: 8 am – 5 pm

 

NOTE: Building and grounds closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day


Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County