Winter Hikes for Private Groups

Take your family and friends on a private, naturalist-led hike on the topic of your choice. This one hour program allows you to explore the preserve while we’re closed to the public. 

Cost: $20/members, $30/non-members. The cost of the program covers up to 10 attendees, but there is no minimum group size.

Additional Information:

  • These hikes take place entirely outdoors. Dress appropriately for the cold!
  • In the event of icy conditions, or excessive snow, your program may be rescheduled or canceled. The Nature Institute closes for the weather when Alton Public Schools close. 
  • Guests are only permitted on site for the duration of their program. Our trails are closed to the public during the winter months. 

Dates: Available January through March, Tuesdays through Fridays. Some select Saturday mornings are also available. Programs are available at 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm.


  • Winter Tree ID: Learn to identify trees during the winter months by their bark, buds, and branching!
  • Birds: Learn to identify some of our wintering bird species here in Illinois. Binoculars are provided during the program.
  • Letterboxer for Kids: Letterboxing combines hiking and treasure hunting to form a fast-paced scavenger hunt. Follow clues and solve puzzles around the property to find the final letterbox. The clues in this program are appropriate for ages 7 and up, but younger kids are welcome to test it out with help from a parent!
  • Frozen Falls: Head out to Beaver Falls to see the frozen falls! This program is weather and trail condition dependent and will last approximately 1.5 hours. A backup topic will be required.