Family Weekender: Chicago

Nature Programs at Cook County Forest Preserve
Go Guide: Cook COunty Forest Preserve

Getting there: The Little Red Schoolhouse is located in the Palos division at 9800 S. 104th Ave., Willow Springs, IL.

Reference: Maps are available at the main headquarters or any forest preserve office.

Contact: Cook County Forest Preserve, (708) 366-9420.


For small children who are eager to learn about nature, the Little Red Schoolhouse at Cook County Forest Preserve is the perfect place to start. Located in an original circa-1880's schoolhouse, the center is part of the preserve and offers many fun, educational activities and exhibits: native bird and animal displays, gardens designed to attract hummingbirds, beehives, nature programs and several short hiking trails.

Families can also explore other areas in the preserve, including 200 miles of equestrian trails, 85 miles of paved bike trails, an aquatic center, 10 golf courses, and picnic areas spanning 67,000 acres around the city.

This region — the Chicago Southland — contains the most forested land in the metropolitan area, mostly concentrated in the Palos, Moraine, Orland Park, Lansing, Glenwood, and Steger areas. The preserve's 35 lakes are prime spots for fishing, canoeing and non-motorized boating. If you don't have your own craft, visit Maple Lake and Tampier Slough — both offer canoe and rowboat rentals.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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