The Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s six Nature Centers provide a gateway for discovery of the natural diversity of Cook County. As interpretive institutions and wildlife refuges/preserves, there are special rules that apply to the Nature Centers and their surrounding trails.
Please respect these rules while visiting our Nature Centers.
- Pets are not permitted on nature center grounds, including the parking lots.
- Because we are not a rehabilitation facility, nature center staff cannot accept injured, orphaned or abandoned wildlife.
- For your safety and for the protection of natural areas, please stay on marked trails. Trails are for hiking only; no running, jogging, horses or other sporting activities.
Bicycles are not allowed beyond the Nature Center parking lots, or provided bike racks.
- Cross-country skiing is only permitted at the Sagawau Nature Center.
- For the benefit of other visitors and wildlife, please maintain respectful noise levels at all times. Amplified music is not allowed.
- Picnicking is not permitted on nature center grounds. An adjacent picnic grove can be opened for pre-registered groups on weekdays. Except for water or sports bottles, food and drink are not permitted on trails. Please dispose of litter in proper receptacles. No food or drink in buildings.
- Collecting of any kind is prohibited, as is the use of metal detectors. The fine for picking wildflowers is $500.
- For the protection of animals and visitors alike, please do not feed the wildlife.
- Be mindful of closing times for trails, nature center building, and parking lot.
- Please report safety hazards or suspicious activities to the nature center staff.