LaBagh Woods

A view of the North Branch of the Chicago River from LaBagh Woods.
The North Branch of the Chicago River is the dominant feature of this urban preserve.

Located at the southern start of the popular North Branch Trail, LaBagh Woods is host to diverse natural areas including wooded landscapes, wetlands, savannas and sedge meadows. Known for exceptional birding opportunities, this site also offers city dwellers and others picnic groves and large open fields.

On this page:


Locations & Things to Do

LaBagh Woods

Entrance

N Cicero Ave, north of W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60630

Things to Do & Amenities

  1. Indoor bathroom open April 1 to October 31 depending on weather conditions.

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Irene C. Hernandez Family Picnic Grove

Things to Do & Amenities

  1. Indoor bathroom open April 1 to October 31 depending on weather conditions.

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts


Trails

North Branch Trail System

The North Branch Trail System offers paved and unpaved trails along approximately 20 miles of the North Branch of the Chicago River, making it a premier biking route in the northern suburbs.

Location: Chicago, Glenview, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie & Winnetka

Surface

Paved & Unpaved

Estimated Total Length

36.7 miles

Hours

Year-round: Sunrise to Sunset

Closures & Alerts

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

A great blue heron hunting
LaBagh Woods provides important habitat for both migrating and resident birds—like this great blue heron.

Nature Notes

LaBagh Woods (sometimes misspelled as “LaBaugh”) offers significant tree cover, with a mix of large oaks, maples and cottonwoods. Occasional sunny savannas and sedge meadows dot the wooded landscape, particularly toward the northeast of the site, an area known as Sauganash Prairie Grove. Some of these species-rich spots benefit from restoration by volunteers, as do low-lying wetlands. Wild geranium, Indian plantain, turtlehead, blue flag iris, marsh blazing star and hop sedge all grow at LaBagh.

At the center of the site near the river, an oxbow slough fills the low bottomlands. During floods, the area takes on a primeval feel, like a southern swamp. Birders explore the area during spring migration to view birds such as spring warblers, tanagers and sparrows. Cooper’s and red-tailed hawks have nested in these woods. Mink and other water-loving mammals patrol the river banks.


A group of volunteers
Photo by Jeff Skrentny.

Volunteer Opportunities

This uncommon woodland community encompasses wet savanna, marsh, and mature floodplain woods, and is dominated by swamp white oaks.

Join an inspiring movement of volunteers gathering to restore this special site along the Chicago River. Learn how to restore diverse wildlife, trees, wildflowers, and health to our forest preserves and river system. Help grow a community of caretakers!

Centennial Volunteers at LaBagh


Sauganash Prairie Grove