ALERT:Local access to the nature center may be affected by the E 7th and Mayhill street reconstruction this fall or next spring.
Construction may begin in September. New pavement, and utilities will be installed. There should always be a lane open; and closures will be posted on our webpage. Thank you for your patience during this time.
Maplewood Nature Center has a Visitor Center, hiking trails, nature play yard, demonstration gardens, and picnic area. Adults, families, and groups come to hike and explore the wild outdoors. There are many ways you can participate - as an individual or family, either on your own (self-group such as a school, preschool, church or scout. Our hope is to empower you to become an enthusiastic steward of our natural environment!
The exhibits, meeting room, restrooms and picnic area are handicapped accessible.
The Visitor Center is an Information Hub!
The Visitor Center is a great place to learn about what you might see on your hike and nature explorations. The building is free and open to the public, Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Individuals, families, or organized groups of all ages are invited to come and explore.
The Visitor Center is also a place to get information on:
- Exhibits: See live animals, pedal the energy bike, follow the waterworks!
- Self-guided Educational Groups: Groups of 20 or more people may wish to reserve a time to explore inside in the exhibit and touch and see room. A fee of $50 fee will hold your spot for 40 minutes of exploration time inside. Please call 651-249-2170 at least 2 weeks in advance.
This includes use of restrooms, picnic area and play yard. Groups should always call ahead to check availability. Scheduled paid groups receive priority in the exhibit room and play yard.
- Neighborhood Preserves: The Nature Center is the home base for Maplewood's 14 beautiful open space sites scattered throughout Maplewood. These nature preserves are sanctuaries for birds and wildlife, and provide a place for residents to hike, relax, and enjoy nature close to home.
- Orphaned and Injured Wildlife
- Programs and Events
- Rentals: Snowshoes are available for on-site trail use.
- Self-Guided Activities: Check out our fun nature bingo and backpacks!
Trails at Maplewood Nature Center -
Nature Center trails are open every day from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset.
Recently renovated “Sustainable Trails” wind through 40 acres of gently sloping woodland and wetlands. You can pick up a map and self-guided trail brochure in the Visitor Center or at the Kiosk at the trail entry. Download a Self-guided trail map (PDF).
Please be advised that no pets of any kind are allowed in this Wildlife Sanctuary. Nesting birds, mammals and plants thank you for respecting this rule. As an alternative, you may enjoy taking your pet to the nearby Battle Creek Dog Park.
In the Nature Center Yard
The Nature Center Yard is open every day from sunrise to sunset.
- Demonstration Gardens: See native wildflowers and grasses, watch butterflies, take photographs, and find new ideas to implement in your own yard.
- Nature Play Yard: Trees, bridges, boulders, stepping-stones and logs enclose safe havens where kids can roam while actively exploring nature.
- Waterworks/Sustainable Yard (PDF): View techniques for managing rainwater in your yard, including custom rain barrels, rain canals, rain gardens for sun and shade, pervious pavers, and a rainwater planter.
Have a Picnic
Picnic tables are available every season for families and groups. They are located throughout the yard, and there is a wheelchair accessible table. Picnickers are encouraged to sort their waste into appropriate containers: a compost bin for non-meat and dairy food scraps, a recycling bin for bottles and cans, and trash bins for non-recyclables.
We ask that large groups call 651-249-2170 to reserve the tables ahead of time.
The Sun Room is available to rent for meetings. It is ideal for small groups, family gatherings, retreats, and birthday parties.