The North Park Village Nature Center is a 46-acre park containing 3 trails, including one long loop trail that circles the natural area and two shorter loop paths. The land was converted from an old tuberculosis sanitarium whose buildings were preserved, and through which the trails were carved. All three trailheads can be found at the rear of the Nature Center building. Your leashed pup is welcome in the outdoor areas, and the two of you will be treated to a smorgasbord of sights, smells and sounds of nature in this sanctuary surrounded by the city.
The trails wander through savanna, woodland, prairie grasses and wetlands. In places, it's supported by a boardwalk, and a raised observation area near the wetlands provides a good look at some of the wildlife you'll find here: small mammals like skunks and raccoons, bullfrogs and turtles, waterfowl like geese and herons. The most popular attraction is arguably the herd of deer for which this is a permanent home. Very people-friendly, you'll find them standing on the path, in the underbrush, or passing behind you as you walk. A gated fence keeps them confined to the park, although humans can pass through easily.
Wildflowers line the trails, and water-lilies float on the lake. Occasionally you may hear the plop of a frog jumping into the water. A bench at the water's edge features a pawsome view and a place to rest and be still with nature as you watch dragonflies, butterflies and birds swoop through the wildflowers. As the grass meanders through prairie grasslands, you may spy some yoga practitioners, and bird-watching is a delight, especially during migration season.
In the winter, luminaria light the paths and snow muffles the sounds of the traffic around you, while animals are more visible against the snow-covered terrain with its leafless trees and brush.
The trails and paths here offer an escape and respite from the city for you and your fur-baby, who will find a plethora of animals and birds to spy in this lovely spot!
A herd of deer make this park their home, along with other abundant wildlife, so be sure to keep Fido firmly leashed to avoid mishaps. Stay on the trail so you don't disturb the animals' habitat.