The latest in our “Easy Outing” series is a park and free nature center are rolled into one! Read on to learn about making the most of a (totally free!) trip to Knoch Knolls Nature Center and the adjacent Knoch Knolls Park in Naperville!
Name and Background:
The Knoch Knolls Nature Center and Knoch Knolls Park are part of the Naperville Park District. The east branch and west branch of the DuPage River join together at Knoch Knolls Park, and the nature center’s mission is to tell the tale of the river’s formation, local wildlife and the river’s impact on residents of the area through the years.
The nature center is located at 320 Knoch Knolls Road in Naperville, east of Route 59 and off 95th Street.
The nature center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. (Check hours on and around holidays by calling 630-864-3964.) The park is open 365 days a year, sunrise to one hour after sunset.
When to Visit:
I’ve been here a few times and it’s never been overly busy.
A bathroom at the nature center is open from sunrise to one hour before sunset. There is a pond, a disc golf course and several bridges. There are several picnic tables and a covered area that would be great for picnics. There is a 4.6 mile walking path.
It’s really great for all ages. Both my 2- and 5-year-old daughters really love this place.
I went to Knoch Knolls specifically to check out the nature center and was a little disappointed. Compared to Red Oak and Creek Bend it’s a lot smaller and there is less to do. However, the small nature center in combination with the awesome park makes it a worthwhile trip.
The nature center has a huge fresh water aquarium with fish, a small activity table that has had different toys each time I’ve been, and a shelf with puppets, books and some discovery drawers.
The nature-themed park is by far my girls’ favorite part. There’s a lot of fun equipment pieces that you don’t find at other parks, like a large circular swing, a slide you can only access by climbing up a rock wall, several spinning seats, and lots of other fun stuff.
This park is great for younger toddlers because there’s a nice area with smaller equipment. The playground has a rubber cushion surface.
If you’re in the Naperville area, the Knoch Knolls Nature Center is definitely worth a trip!