A Little Time and a Keyboard: Late Summer Amble Through North Park Village Nature Center and Walking Stick Woods Natural Area in Chicago

Friday, August 27, 2021

Late Summer Amble Through North Park Village Nature Center and Walking Stick Woods Natural Area in Chicago

 

Late Summer Amble Through Walking Stick Woods Natural Area in Chicago

Late Summer Amble Through North Park Village Nature Center and Walking Stick Woods Natural Area in Chicago

Some visitors to the Chicago area may be quite pleasantly surprised by all of the nature spaces we have in the region including within the city itself.  North Park Village Nature Center and Walking Stick Woods Natural Area in the North Park Village of Chicago represents one of these treasures. Within its 46 acres, wanderers can find a nature mosaic of woodlands, wetlands, savanna and prairie.

A rustic trail through the woods at Walking Stick Woods.
A rustic trail through the woods at Walking Stick Woods.

Visiting North Park Village Nature Center, we discovered a remarkable preserve. While smaller than many of the other preserves we visit, the number of trails impressed us. We experienced exploring vibrant ecosystems. The woodlands  of Walking Stick Woods compromise 12 acres of the preserve and treat Chicagoans to divine forest bathing right in the city.

Blissful peek through the wisps of trees into a idyllic wetland at Walking Stick Woods in Chicago
Blissful peek through the wisps of trees into an idyllic wetland.

One of the first trails we took wove us to the wetlands. At one point, we stole a blissful peek through the wisps of trees into an idyllic wetland. We even saw some turtles! Well, one turtle got a little antsy when we arrived and dove in for a swim!

Brilliant Prairie Flowers Blazing Through the Preserve 

Bold yellow coneflowers are one of the hallmarks of the summer prairie.
Bold yellow coneflowers are one of the hallmarks of the summer prairie.

We hiked most of the trails crisscrossing the preserve. Wildflowers blazed through the nature tableau all around us. 

A slight ridge guided us through a bouquet of flowers at Walking Stick Woods in Chicago.
A slight ridge guided us through a bouquet of wildflowers.

At one point, we walked up upon a ridge through a sea of prairie flowers. During this visit, we found meandering through the jubilant wildflowers particularly enchanting.

Engaging and Hands-on Nature Learning

North Park Village Nature Center encourages nature exploration. We explored a bird blind with fantastic educational information about the birds you may see. Additionally, we discovered a natural play area where kids can play and construct with sticks. My daughter would have loved that when she was younger! The preserve also maintains a pollinator garden which is always a fascinating way to learn about our pollinators! Additionally, the preserve has a nature center explore. COVID was spiking during our visit, so we opted to not go inside. We would like to return to explore the nature center as well!


The North Park Village area once was the home to the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium from 1915-1974. The sanitarium provided patients with a self contained village and open spaces encouraging plenty of time in fresh air to help with recovery. The Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium was the largest in the US.

I love that the Chicago area has so many unique nature treasures throughout. We have so many avenues for learning about nature all around us. North Park Village Nature Center and Walking Stick Woods truly represents one of these special havens actively encouraging families to learn about a variety of native flora and fauna. During our visit, we felt away from it despite being Chicago. Walking Stick Woods is an incredibly remarkable piece of Chicago!

North Park Village Nature Center and Walking Stick Woods Natural Area in Chicago


1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful area! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photographs.

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