Chicago Portage National Historic Site

a metal statue at Chicago Portage National Historic Site
The statue at Chicago Portage National Historic Site

The Chicago Portage National Historic Site—one of only two National Historic Sites in Illinois—marks the western end of the historic portage linking the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. The site includes a section of the Salt Creek Trail System, including an unpaved loop.

On this page:


Location & Things to Do

Chicago Portage National Historic Site

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Trails

Salt Creek Trail System

The Salt Creek Trail System’s paved and unpaved trails run along the Des Plaines River, Salt Creek and Brookfield Zoo, offering visitors views of a glacial valley, gravelly moraine and Salt Creek’s unique pool and riffle environment.

Location: Brookfield, Forest View, La Grange Park, Lyons, McCook, North Riverside, Oak Brook, Riverside, Westchester & Western Springs

Surface

Paved & Unpaved

Estimated Total Length

16.4 miles

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts

*Please be a courteous trail user: Follow posted signs and our trail rules and etiquette.

Site Plans & Improvements

Released in December 2018, the Chicago Portage Historic Site Master Plan serves to guide future decisions regarding upgrades, programs, and strategies for enhancing the Portage Site.


Volunteer Opportunities

Since 2002, the Friends of the Chicago Portage have been working year-round to return native plant communities to the Portage area, as well as keeping the trails clean and clear. Join a group of volunteers working to restore native habitat by removing invasive brush, collecting seeds and pulling weeds.