November Happenings at Thorn Creek Nature Center
Thorn Creek Nature Center is nestled at the beginning of a three and half mile trail system that meanders through Thorn Creek Nature Preserve. Housed in a small white wooden church building built in the mid-1860’s, the nature center houses several displays for both adults and children. Stop in and learn about mammals, Illinois fossils, insects, birds and much more! Talk with a naturalist and learn about the history of the building and how it became a nature center.

StacyPisani339At nearly 1000 acres, Thorn Creek Nature Preserve is home to majestic oaks, hickory trees, white-tailed deer, owls, woodpeckers and much more. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes on your walk. The nature center is open Friday-Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. and trails are open daily, dawn to dusk. Stop out and visit us!


Rent the Nature Center

Nature Center building can be rented for gatherings.

Call 708-747-6320 or email us at for information.

Friends Annual Meeting

An Afternoon with Friends of Thorn Creek Woods

Join other nature lovers for An Afternoon with Friends of Thorn Creek Woods, Sunday, November 2 at 1 p.m. Gather for a fun-filled afternoon with a potluck meeting and a presentation “History of the Preservation of Thorn Creek Woods”. We’ll find out what’s going on in the preserve and learn about ways to help. New supporters, find out what makes Thorn Creek unique! BYOW = Bring Your Own Whatever and we’ll provide fried chicken. The event is open to the public. 

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Friends volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways-staff the nature center on weekends, trail work, displays, leading hikes, special events, cleaning, pruning, artwork, music, research, and on and on. Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment, supplies and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day. Members receive a quarterly newsletter.

Annual membership in Friends is $10.


Group Programs

Programs for schools, youth groups, scouts, seniors, homeschoolers, and other groups are offered both at the preserve and off-site.

Call 708-747-6320 or email us at for information.

11/01/14 - JUNIOR ECOLOGISTS CLUB NOVEMBER PROGRAM Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve’s Junior Ecologists Club offers fun-filled nature activities each month for young people age... More detail
11/02/14 - AN AFTERNOON WITH FRIENDS OF THORN CREEK WOODS Gather for a fun-filled afternoon with a potluck, presentation, and, of course, a hike. We’ll even have a business meeting of Friends,... More detail
11/08/14 - PIE IN THE SKY NIGHT HIKE Join us for a meandering hike through Thorn Creek Woods while we unravel some mysteries of life in the cold. Then we’ll return to... More detail
11/15/14 - STORY OF THE LANDSCAPE HIKE In 1957 May Theilgaard Watts, naturalist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois wrote the enchanting book “Reading the Landscape”.... More detail


Nature Center Closed

Friday, November 28 through Sunday, November 30 - Thanksgiving
Friday, December 19 through Sunday December 21
Friday, December 26 through Sunday, December 28 - Christmas
Friday, January 2 through Sunday, January 4 - New Years

Donate to the Capital Fund

Your donation will help us finish construction of the new north bridge, paint the nature center’s exterior, replace the south bridge or re-route the trail, replace the old long boardwalk, and improve Owl Lake trail.

CAPITAL FUND donations can be made out to and mailed to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, Illinois 60466. 

Complete information is available from Judy Mendelson at thorn_creek or 708-747-6320.

[Download CAPITAL FUND brochure.]  [Download CAPITAL FUND flyer.]

Wednesday Walkers

Wednesdays: 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Registration required two days before your first walk. Free! Ages 13-adult.

Walks are led by a Thorn Creek Woods naturalist.

Follow the forest’s seasonal changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on 2 miles of Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve’s winding trails.

Call 708-747-6320 or e-mail to register for your first walk or for additional information. 



Friends of Thorn Creek Woods
Thorn Creek News

August 2014   click to read or download
(see Capital Fund progress)

Spring 2013   click to read or download

Winter 2012-13   click to read or download

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