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Virtual Visitor Center

Welcome to the Chicago Portage National Historic Site Virtual Vistor Center

 The Chicago Portage National Historic Site comprises portions of Portage Woods Forest Preserve and Ottawa Trail Woods Forest Preserve in Lyons, Illinois.

LOCATION:

Portage Woods Forest Preserve is located at 4800 S. Harlem Ave. Lyons, IL. 60402

Ottawa Trail Woods Forest Preserve is located on the west side of Harlem Ave. on the north side of 47th Street in Lyons, IL 60534. Enter on 47th St, west of S Harlem Ave

SIGNIFICANCE:
The Chicago Portage National Historic Site marks the western end of a historic portage linking the Great Lakes to the MIssissippi River. Subsequent improvements of this connection led to Chicag
o's preeminence as a center for transportation and trade.

HOURS:
Sunrise to sunset every day of the year

AMENITIES:
Symbolic statue, interpretive pavilion, interpretive signage, 0.6 mile inner paved and gravel loop trail, limited parking, portapotty, Salt Creek Greenway Trail link, the remnant western end of the old "Portage Creek" is preserved in Portage Woods.

OTHER SITE INFORMATION:

Portage Woods Forest Preserve and Ottawa Trail Woods Forest Preserve are owned and maintained by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County

The Forest Preserve District's webpage about Portage Woods provides information about 

National Historic Site Designation: The National Park Service designated the Chicago Portage a National Historic Site on January 3, 1952. The Park Service's webpage on the Chicago Portage hosts a brief synopsis of the site's history and significance.

Interpretive tours are offered by Friends of the Chicago Portage tour guides on the 1st Saturday of each month from April to November. Click here for more information.

Ecological Restoration Workdays in Portage Woods Forest Preserve are organized by Friends of the Chicago Portage from 9 am to 12 pm on the last Saturday of each month throughout the year. Click here for more information.

NPS Passport Stamp: The National Park Service Passport Stamp for the Chicago Portage National Historic Site is available at:

  * Forest Preserves of Cook County Headquarters, 536 North Harlem Avenue, River Forest, IL 60305 PHONE: 800-870-3666

  * Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center 9800 Willow Springs Rd., Willow Springs, IL 60480 PHONE: 708-839-6897