Hal Tyrrell Trailside Museum of Natural History

Set in the woods near the corner of Chicago Avenue and Thatcher Avenue is a beautiful 1870’s Victorian Mansion that has served as the Hal Tyrrell Museum of Natural History since 1931. The museum, which is part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County also served as its headquarters from 1919 until 1931. The museum also acts as an “Animal Inn” to care for injured wildlife. This family friendly museum hosts nature programs, guided walking tours and, with a reservation, private customized tours.

Both inside and out are displays of live native animals and colorful wildflowers. During a short hike around the museums grounds you can see Indian burial mounds, a “Lost City” and the remains of a mill that was once River Forest’s first business. This is also the starting place for bird watching adventures.

While you are here do not miss the natural mosaics. These pieces of art are made completely of seeds and stunningly executed.  

Easily reached by foot, bicycle, car or public transportation, the grounds are open every day 8am until 5pm and the building is open every day except Fridays 9am until 5pm.

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