Nature & Wildlife Areas in Chicago

THE 5 BEST Chicago Nature & Wildlife Areas

Nature & Wildlife Areas in Chicago

Types of Attractions
Nature & Parks
Nature & Parks
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8 places sorted by traveler favorites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travelers are saying

  • yuanwai
    Chicago, IL223 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Frank Lloyd Wright inspired garden, in the middle of the city, by the lake. Just a fantastic place to visit and sit around. One of the quintessential part of Chicago!
    Written June 6, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • The Happy Traveler
    Chicago, IL2,488 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    I’m so glad they did something creative and sustainable with this area along the waterfront. The bird sanctuary has so many beautiful flowering plants for birds, butterflies and bees alike to forage and thrive.

    There is a little path that goes through the sanctuary and doesn’t disturb the plants or habitat.
    I was able to catch sight of many species along with a brown furry caterpillar too!

    If you walk a little farther along the waterfront there is also the Montrose dunes.
    Written July 19, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,228 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you live in downtown Chicago, as we do, you are aware of the hustle and bustle, traffic and noise. Even when you walk through Lincoln Park or Grant Park. Have you been to North Park Village Nature Center lately? Located at 5801 North Pulaski Road in North Park Village, on the city's northwest side, between Peterson and Bryn Mawr, open from 9 to 4 daily, this 46-acre nature preserve features hiking trails, a birding area and a center with educational programs. It also manages an adjacent 12-acre satellite area called Walking Stick Woods, once an unused wet woods that has been converted into defined trails, interesting cultural features and a well-utilized nature play space. The trails allow visitors to stroll through woodland, wetland, prairie and savanna, maybe spot some wildlife or even a rare bird. In the Discovery Room, there is a hands-on table of natural objects and interactive displays designed to associate visitors with the the natural resources in an urban setting. For an hour or two, a visit to North Park Village Nature Center allows visitors to forget they might have to drive home on the Dan Ryan Expressway during rush hour.
    Written October 24, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Lincoln D
    Pearl, MS59 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I grew up in Chicago until I was 12 years. I left the West Rogers Park neighborhood in 1974, when my family moved to Southern California. I have very fond memories of Indian Boundary Park. We would go there all the time as children, since it was only 4 or 5 blocks from our house. We would see the animals that were there. Feed the ducks and the deer. Run around the park with our friends. Ride our bikes there. I visited there recently on a business trip to Chicago. It brought back a lot of wonderful memories. What great parks Chicago has. Indian Boundary Park has a lot of memories. My dad passed away in 1997 at the age of 84. He lived in this neighborhood for a majority of his life. His family moved up to Rogers Park from the South Side when he was a small child. I remember him telling me that he fell thru the ice on the pond at Indian Boundary Park ice skating as a child and almost drowned until someone pulled him out. Like a said, a lot of memories.
    Written September 18, 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ImmerWandern
    Palos Park, IL10,333 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was our first visit here. We had read of the abundance of waterfowl at Wolf Lake. Most of the lake was frozen over and, at first glance, there did not seem to be much to see. Canada geese grazed on the scant winter grass by the visitors’ center. We drove north past the boat ramp, past the railroad tracks and onto the the elevated roadway along the Illinois-Indiana border to the edge of the. Wolf Lake Industrial Center. We passed several hunting blinds along the way; waterfowl hunting takes place during the fall. There was a fairly large opening in the ice where we spotted a couple of Canada geese, a few Common Goldeneyes and a pair of Mute swans. Then we noticed that the south end of Wolf Lake was had an even larger area of open water that was teeming with birds.

    We drove back all the way to the southernmost parking lot. The open water was still quite a distance from where we stood, and the required the use of spotting scopes, binoculars or powerful zoom lenses to view the waterfowl. There were two species of swans, the common Mute swan (orange bills) and the Trumpeter swan (black bills). There were Canada geese, Herring gulls, and we also spotted a Bald eagle gliding in lazy circles high in the sky. Several duck species spotted: Mallard, Common mergansers, Redhead, Canvasback, Common goldeneye. There were several other birdwatchers with us on the edge of the lake taking in those views.

    This is a state recreational area. Boating and fishing are popular warm-weather activities, apparently. Ice-fishing is possible during winter; there was nobody out on the ice during our visit. The fish found in Wolf Lake include largemouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp, walleye, hybrid muskie, and yellow perch. Hunting, as mentioned, takes place in the fall. Of course there are hiking trails.

    We will definitely be back in a few months when the spring migration is in full swing.
    Written February 27, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Annaline
    Park Ridge, IL7,186 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    It is a nice biking trail, however for some unknown to me reason I think there was too much broken glass on it. Is it not cleaned too often? Also information boards are scarce and if they exist they are almost unreadable (painted over with graffiti or just damaged). It would be nice to have more information borads on the way so bikers know where they are going and are not lost (there are some changes on the trail that may be confusing, or trails is ending sometimes and bikers need to stay on the street).
    Written September 2, 2015
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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