Friends of the Chicago Portage

The Chicago Portage has always been a Portal from one place and time to another.

Please visit our new expanded and mobile friendly website @

Teachers Explorers The Chicago Portage Friends of the Chicago Portage

The Chicago Portage National Historic Site - Site History

Friends of the Chicago Portage

Teachers - Download Swamp to City a curricula that helps teachers and their students explore the early history of Chicago.
- Source documents & images



Chicago Portage Days - Take the Portage Trail!

Members of Friends of the Chicago Portage are producing a unique living history experiential education event.
Plan to attend the Chicago Portage Days event on Saturday, October 11th.

Join an Exploration Party and take The Portage Trail to meet the natives, explorers, fur traders and settlers of earliest Chicago at the site where the reason
Chicago was created was discovered. Produced by the Friends of the Chicago Portage with support from Friends of the Forest Preserves.
For more information click here

Saturday, October 11, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Timed tours will begin every 15 minutes. Last tour begins at 3pm. You must arrive at least 30 minutes before you begin the tour in order to register and view the pre-Trail displays.

Admission is $7 for adults 21 - 62, $3 for students and seniors.
(Not recommended for children under the age of six or people unable to walk a mile on uneven paths.)
Ottawa Trail Woods, 7200 W 47th St , Lyons, IL Enter Ottawa Trail Woods on the west side of Harlem, just north of 47th Street.


Portage Planning...the Future of the Past!

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is currently planning improvements to the facilities, new interpretive signage and trail enhancements
in Portage Woods Forest Preserve. A link to the latest plan document is here. ( ).

The work of Friends of the Chicago Portage over the last twelve years has raised the visibility of the site not only in the eyes of
the general public, but in the view of the site owner; the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. It is now identified as one of
the District's six priority sites that qualify for custom improvements (other than the standard shelter, outhouse, etc.).


The Portage Ledger is now On-Line!

  cp ledger logo

Beginning in January of 2000 Phil Vierling began publishing his "Chicago Portage Ledger". Now Carnegie Mellon University has digitized
the entire 11 volume collection of Phil's original research and documentation of the stories of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site.
The collection is searchable and available on-line at:


Friends of the Chicago Portage

Friends logo  

Read about our DVD documentary about the Chicago Portage:

"Connecting Worlds, The Story of the Chicago Portage"

Updated: August 31, 2014