Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday: Closed
Trails open from sunrise to 1 hour past sunset, every day.

Red Oak Nature Center frequently hosts large school groups for field trips. During these days, there may be amenities at the site such as trails or the boardwalk that will have limited or no access. If you are interested in the availability of these areas or field trip bookings, please contact roprograms@fvpd.net or 630-897-1808.

  • Admission
  • Our Location & Parking
  • Highlights & Features
  • Resources
  • When Nature Calls Podcast
  • Admission

    Admission is free for individuals and related families of 9 or fewer (suggested $1 donation per person). Entry for organized groups of 10 or more is $2 per person (required).

    Because of the facility’s size, organized groups of 10 or more must email roprograms@fvpd.net or call 630-897-1808 to register before visiting the nature center.

    *The Wilds at Red Oak and the nature center indoor exhibits may be reserved for registered groups and therefore be closed. In this event, the outdoor trails and cave will still be open.

    Our Location & Parking

    Red Oak Nature Center

    930 N. River Road, North Aurora, Illinois ● 630-897-1808 ● Directions


    Parking is always free at Red Oak Nature Center.



    Highlights & Features

    Snow Shoe Rentals

    December – March: If there is more than three inches of snow on the ground, rent show shoes from the nature center and explore our woods!
    Ages 8+
    $5 per pair

    Sense the Seasons Exhibits

    Explore and enjoy the outdoors like a true naturalist with panoramic, hands-on educational exhibits displaying how the seasons cycle from one to the next as well as their hidden wonders within.

    Wildlife Room

    See Fox River wildlife up close, including a 500-gallon turtle and fish setting, as well as new habitats for frogs, snakes, salamanders and more. Meet the animals here.

    Please note: Red Oak is not a wildlife rehabilitation center and does not take in injured or orphaned animals. If you’ve rescued an animal, please call the Fox Valley Wildlife Center at (630) 365-3800.

    Acorn Classroom

    A great venue for diverse educational programs such as scouting; also the seasonal home to our onsite Nature Play Preschool program

    Maple Classroom

    Ideal for diverse uses such as scouting, birthday parties, school, and other group and family programs; it also sometimes features an animated video showcasing the highlights of Red Oak.

    The Cave

    Follow the Fox River Trail down to  the river’s edge to explore the Chicagoland area’s only known cave – a true gem of the Fox Valley!

    Observation Deck

    Step out and take in spectacular views of the Fox River and its wildlife, migratory birds, wooded shorelines and islands.

    Education Pavilion

    The spacious picnic shelter features a limestone fireplace with plenty of seating. The rentable pavilion accommodates scouting, birthday parties, school programs, and other group and family programs. Pavilion may not be available when in use for scheduled programming.


    Travel six wood-chipped hiking trails and the nationally renowned Fox River Trail winding through the woods along the Fox River. Dogs and bikes permitted on paved trails only; please respect the wildlife.


    IDNR Trunk and Hike Bags

    Provided by the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, these bags contain books, photos, samples and more about a range of nature topics. Bag rental is free. For more information about bag topics, please call 630-897-1808 or visit the IDNR web page.

    Nature Exploration Bags

    To enhance your learning and enjoyment in exploring the woods, you can borrow Nature Exploration Bags during Red Oak Nature Center hours. Bags are available for observing birds, insects and the signs of the season, as well as for experiencing the senses. The bags are free to use with a refundable deposit. Adult supervision is required.

    When Nature Calls Podcast

    Ever just wondered about Nature? Join Renee and Christy of Red Oak Nature Center for ‘When Nature Calls’. A light-hearted, informational conversation all about Nature topics that range from the true to the silly to the bizarre. Each episode has a different topic or theme and is full of family-friendly content. Have a topic or question you would like them to discuss? Send it to redoak@fvpd.net for them to respond to your call!

    When Nature Calls Podcast

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