Welcome Center

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Midewin Welcome Center offers a tranquil space with pleasant nature sounds on a recording with colorful interpretive signs that highlight the cultural and natural history of the land. Visitors to the Welcome Center will find out more about Midewin's history and mission and how restoration is occurring.

Those coming to learn about or view the Bison will want to start here to find out more about the Bison Project and explore the bison boxes. There are several displays at the Welcome Center, including Glaciers, Wetland Habitats, Prairie Habitats, Wildlife that Inhabit Wetlands and Prairies, Ghosts of the Prairie and the Timeline of the Midewin Area. The Welcome Center has a variety of programs and tours from April to October. During the winter months we host a "Winter Lecture Series" on nature and conservation related topics, held in the conference room.

Scroll down to "Visitor Programs" for event schedules, program and volunteer day information and, during winter months, the winter lecture series information.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Customers needing information, permits. and maps are encouraged to please contact us by phone: (815) 423-6370; or e-mail: SM.FS.Midewin_RSVP@usda.gov during regular business hours for prompt, customer service.
Operational Hours: April to October
Mon - Sat: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. November to March
Mon - Fri: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Accessible,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees This is not a fee site.
Open Season: January 1 - December 31
Usage: Light
Busiest Season: Spring, Summer
Closest Towns: Wilmington
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush
Operated By: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
Information Center: Email: sm.fs.mntp@usda.gov Phone: 1-815-423-6370

General Information


From the I-80 exit for Wilmington

  • Exit onto Route 53 South
  • Travel south on Route 53 for 13 miles.
  • The Welcome Center will be located on the left/east side of Route 53

From the I-55 exit for North River Road, Exit 241

  • Exit onto North River Road
  • Travel on North River Road for 4 miles.
  • Turn left/north at the stoplight onto Route 53
  • Travel north on Route 53 for 1 mile
  • The Welcome Center will be located on the right/east side of Route 53

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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