- Facility Listings
- Contact Us
- Board of Trustees
- Sponsorship Opportunities
- Strategic Plan
- Park Bench & OSPRI Updates
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Gift Cards
- FVPD Green Team
- Scholarship Program
- Memorial Tree and Bench Program
- Park Foundation
- Public Notices
- Rules and Regulations
- Freedom of Information Act
- Eola Fitness Center
- Prisco Fitness Center
- Vaughan Fitness Center
- Splash Country Water Park
- Phillips Park Aquatic Center
- Outdoor Season Passes and Daily Rates
- Outdoor Water Parks - Weather Closings/Updates
- Outdoor Swim Lessons & Programs
- Vaughan Indoor Water Park
- Indoor Swim Lessons & Programs
- Indoor Water Exercise
- Indoor Annual Passes and Daily Rates
- Aquatic Policies
What to do at Red Oak
Hike the trails
Red Oak features six walking trails that run throughout the woods that border the Fox River. Each trail has a wood-chip base for hiking stability and comfort.
Big Turtle Trail: Named in honor of the Potawatomie Tribe, which called the Fox River the Big Turtle River because of the abundant snapping turtles along its shores. This short hiking trail (1/4 mile in length) circles around the nature center and features breathtaking views of the Fox River amid the stately oak and hickory surrounding the trail.
Dolomite Trail: A 1/4-mile loop named for the type of limestone rock found along the banks of the Fox River. This interpretive trails offers signage to help explain some of the natural features on the trail and leads to Red Oak's picnic shelter area.
Bubo Trail: Named after the genus for horned owls, this new 1/3-mile trail connects to the Fox River bike trail. Winding through dense forest, it includes interpretive signs and views of the Fox River.
Blue Sky Prairie Trail: This 1/8-mile trail encircles a restored prairie area and connects to the Fox River bike trail. It provides an up-close view of various grasses and flowering plants. It's also a good area to enjoy the sounds of different birds and the sight of butterflies and other insects gathering pollen and nectar among the many prairie plants.
Crow's Path Trail: This 1/5-mile connector trail provides a link between the Blue Sky Trail and the Blue Gill Trail. In the spring season, hike down to a freshwater spring where skunk cabbage and marsh marigolds can be seen.
Blue Gill Trail: Located north of Red Oak at Lippold Park, this 1/8-mile trail runs along the edge of Lippold Pond, providing good views of aquatic life and plants that thrive in and around the pond.
In all, this nationally-renowned trail network runs 75 miles from Oswego to the Wisconsin state line. Near Algonquin - about 35 trail miles north of Red Oak - it changes its name to the McHenry Prairie Trail, running another 26 miles north to the state border. The Fox River Trail also offers local trail connections with the Illinois Prairie Path and Virgil Gilman Trail - each of which link to even more trails. More bike trail info.
Take in the view
Directly behind the Nature Center is a large observation deck. It affords panoramic views of the Fox River and the wildlife that lives there. Picnicking is allowed in our designated picnic shelter and in the patio area adjacent to the center.
Visit the cave
Devil’s Cave is one of the very few caves in the Chicago area. It is a short walk from the Nature Center, off of the Fox River Trail.
Take a bike ride
Red Oak is accessible from the Fox River Trail, which runs parallel to the park. The Fox River Trail also connects to the Illinois Prairie Path approximately two miles north of Red Oak.
Trail Bags help your family or group explore Red Oak’s trails by using special backpacks and fun tools that teach about nature topics. Trail Bags are free of charge. There is a deposit required. Adult supervision is required. Call Red Oak at (630) 897-1808 for more information.
Special Events in 2013
In addition to activities and features that are available to the public on a daily basis, Red Oak hosts a number of special events each year. Upcoming events include: