Crabtree Nature Center is over 1,000 acres of beautiful woodlands, located in Northwest Cook County, in Barrington. As part of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, this area is a great place to explore in any season, but especially in spring and summer, because there so much happening in outdoors.
The grounds are open every day from 8-5, and it’s a great place to take a leisurely hike to view the plants and animals that are native to our region. The paths are wide and mulched, which makes it great for young explorers. On drier days, the path is firm enough to take a stroller. There is a shaded pavilion area, complete with binoculars and pictures of different species of birds to make bird watching more fun, and if you walk a little further down the path, you’ll find the Nature Play area, perfect for children. March is breeding season for frogs, and there is a small frog pond here where you can observe tadpoles and adult frogs up close. Use the provided sticks to gently stir the water for an even better look. Here, you can also spray flowers with sugar water to attract butterflies, build your own shelter and pretend to cook food over a fire. Take your kids on a walk around the “story path” which guides children in using their imaginations as they play in the woods.
If you’re looking for someone to help you learn more about the plants and wildlife found here, there are several seasonal, guided, activities you can view on their website. Now, get to exploring! When you visit, be sure to tag your photos with the hashtag #outandaboutwithcompass on Instagram so we can see all the fun you're having!