Hiking At “theNate” – #1 Voted Sculpture Park In The Nation

Why Nathan Manilow or as it is affectionately called – ‘theNate’?
Voted #1 Sculpture Park in the entire nation.  Arguably one of the best in the world. 45-minute drive from the Chicago city/suburbs.
30 outdoor larger-than-life sculptures spread across a mile long hike at the sprawling Prairie grasslands.
The park is open 365 days an year and has no fee. Perfect mix for kids, adults and the elderlies. 

The iconic ‘Paul’ exhibit

Aerial view of the ‘Flying Saucer’

How to Plan your visit?

• Hop in a car and set your GPS here to get to Parking Lot D at Governors State University.

• Download the trail map from here. We parked at Parking Lot D and went through the University campus to reach the point marked by Star, and hiked the loop around the Museum Lake.

• Check the latest info on the park here.

Tip: The trailhead for the hike around the lake (in counter clockwise direction) is right besides exhibit 5, took us quite some time to find it. The must-watch exhibit 13 (Paul) at the other side of the lake.


• Run through the emergency checklist.


You hike though an open path near the lake so better to choose a not-so-hot day.

We ambled through the North Trail to access the exhibits. The hike was easy and mostly around the lake.

Not much shade so please choose a cooler day

The Flying Saucer

‘Yes for Lady Day’, exhibit



Illinois Landscape No. 5

Paul – The Lumberjack exhibit towered over all

‘The Frame’

There are a few exhibits inside the University as well, definitely worth a visit.

A wall mural inside the Governor State University

That’s it. We were in-and-out in about couple of hours with gazillion pictures.

Interested in other Hiking options around Naperville? Please check other hiking locations here.

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