Hours

Park Hours
Day Time slot Comment
Sunday: 8:00 am-7:00 pm
Monday: Dawn to Dusk
Tuesday: Dawn to Dusk
Wednesday: Dawn to Dusk
Thursday: Dawn to Dusk
Friday: Dawn to Dusk
Saturday: 8:00 am-7:00 pm

Description

Big Marsh Park is an approximately 300-acre park in the South Deering Community Area on the southeast side of the city. It is part of an area commonly known as the Calumet Area Reserve. Once an active industrial property, the site was acquired by the Park District in 2011 and opened to the public in 2016. From fort-building and bug-catching, to birding and BMX bike jump lines, there is something for all ages, interests, and abilities. Roughly 45 acres are developed for eco-recreation opportunities including BMX single track courses, pump tracks, and paved bike trails. Other acreage is reserved for more passive recreation such as birding and nature observation. All acreage is being developed to protect or further enhance the overall natural habitat of the park property including sensitivity to flora, fauna, and wetlands.

Through much planning, investment, and local stakeholder input, Big Marsh is now a safe, open, and inviting park space for Chicago and the neighboring communities.

Big Marsh Park features

For more information on scheduling school field trips, community outings, and volunteer events, please contact Program and Event Facilitator, Joel Zavala at joel.zavala@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

History

Once the site of a waste and slag dumping ground from surrounding industrial operations since the late 1800s, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District teamed up in early 2000s to restore this area to a healthy habitat and eco-recreation park.  The Chicago Park District acquired the site in 2011 and began the park planning, environmental assessment, and community input process.  A Framework Plan for the park was completed in 2014.  Design for the bike park feature in the southwest section of the park began in 2014 and developed for eco-recreation opportunities including hiking, adventure courses, and off-road biking.  Other acreage is reserved for more passive recreation, including bird watching and nature walking.  The bike park opened in 2016.  The northwest section of the park also opened to the public in 2016 with a new walking trail and parking lot.  In 2018, the park was named Big Marsh Park. 

Big Marsh Park is a 278-acre property on the southeast side of Chicago in the area commonly known as the Calumet Area Reserve. Once the site of a waste and slag dumping ground from surrounding industrial operations since the late 1800s, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District teamed up in early 2000’s to restore this area to a healthy habitat and eco-recreation park.  Big Marsh Park is also the site for the Ford Calumet Environmental Center a specialty fieldhouse, which opened to the public in 2021.

Advisory Council

Contact: Friends of Big Marsh ,   Paul Fitzgerald

Map & Facilities

Big Marsh Bike Park

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

Big Marsh Natural Area

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

Big Marsh Walking Trail

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

Ford Calumet Environmental Center (FCEC)

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

:
312-590-5993
Big Marsh Bike Park
Big Marsh Bike Park

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

Show on Map
Big Marsh Natural Area
Big Marsh Natural Area

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

Show on Map
Big Marsh Walking Trail
Big Marsh Walking Trail

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

Show on Map
Ford Calumet Environmental Center (FCEC)

11555 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60617
United States

:
312-590-5993
Show on Map