Northerly Island Park is a 119-acre Natural Area and park, situated along the Lake Michigan shoreline on Chicago’s beautiful Museum Campus. Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham imagined Northerly Island as one of the northernmost points in a series of manmade islands stretching between Grant and Jackson Parks and exists as the only island to be completed. The site of the Century of Progress World Fair in 1933, Northerly Island has since been transformed into an urban nature sanctuary, making it the ideal location to investigate the intersection of Chicago’s natural and built environments.
This lakefront Natural Area features prairie grasslands, a 5 acre pond, and strolling paths that offer great views for observing birds and other native wildlife. There are over 150 different varieties of native plants and an emerging savanna with 20,000 trees and shrubs, all which provide an ecosystem for migratory and local birds.
Northerly Island offers year-round outdoor and environmental programs that are a catalyst for bringing communities together to develop an awareness, appreciation and knowledge of our natural environment. Programs include youth nature programs, guided nature field trips & tours, camping, fishing, paddling and annual seasonal festivals that highlight nature in the city, such as the popular Polar Adventure Days.
Today, Daniel Burnham’s vision is now a reality. With wild prairie grasses taking root, strolling paths, superb fishing spots and rolling hills that frame a spectacular view of the City skyline, we invite you to come out and enjoy the emerging world of Northerly Island.
Northerly Island’s Nature Center is open weekdays from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.