Embark on a half-day’s journey of quiet discovery surrounded by exceptional pastoral beauty and inspiring reminders of the past.
WHERE TO PARK
Park at the Visitor Center for the Pullman National Monument, 11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago, IL 60628. Go to the Monument’s website for hours, tours, and other visitor information.
Pullman National Monument – 773/264-7431
Free parking is available in the Visitor Center parking lot at the corner of 112th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. Detailed driving directions from various points throughout the city as well as mass transit information can be found on the website.
Begin your day with a quick trip back to the 1880s in this distinctive time-capsule neighborhood. Marvel at the tumultuous life and remarkable vision of George M. Pullman and his Palace Car train industry at this newly designated national monument. Walking tours are offered from 11am to 3pm daily, except for Mondays.
The Visitor Center features exhibits and a video presentation about Pullman, his company, and the nation’s first model planned industrial community. Listen as park rangers tell the stories of the immigrants who worked and lived in Pullman, the origins of Chicago’s labor union movement, and the development of the Pullman Company.
Continue your tour in Palos Heights
WHERE TO PARK
Park at Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanical Gardens, 7402 W. Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights, IL 60463. Check out the Center’s website for hours and other visitor information.
Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanical Gardens – 708/361-1873
Free parking is available on the grounds. Detailed driving directions from Chicago can be found on the website.
Nestled along a two-mile stretch of the historic Cal-Sag Channel, this serene 85-acre park includes woodlands, prairie, wetlands, gardens, an arboretum, and a 10-acre manmade lake. Walk or jog the paths, tour the butterfly garden, or enjoy the 30-foot waterfall. In the warmer months you can rent a canoe or kayak. In addition, the newly completed section of the Cal-Sag Trail provides a beautiful cycling route for nature lovers. (See next stage in this itinerary.)
Visit the Nature Center and make friends with a menagerie of reptiles and animals. Learn about native wildlife, and plants from the knowledgeable staff.
Complete your trip in Alsip
WHERE TO PARK
Park at Freedom Park, 4785 131st St., Alsip, IL 60803. Open from dawn until dusk, Freedom Park is located just east of Cicero Avenue and is part of the Alsip Park District. Check out the Park District’s website for additional visitor information.
Alsip Park District – 708/389-1003
Alternative parking is available at Teason’s Woods, located at 104th Avenue south of Ill. Rte. 83, Palos Park, IL 60464.
Come see for yourself the I&M Canal National Heritage Area’s trail. The first half of the Cal-Sag Trail is now open, connecting Alsip to Lemont. When completed, the entire trail will be 26 miles long and will extend east to the Burnham Greenway near the Indiana border. The Cal-Sag Trail preserves and enhances the natural and historical treasure of the Cal-Sag Channel and Calumet River and their communities. It links existing industry and infrastructure to the storied remnants of the Big Steel era. Trail development along the Cal-Sag and Calumet River also opens the waterway to fishing, kayaking, birding, barge watching, and more!