Maplewood Nature Center offers amenities such as:
- Demonstration gardens
- Hiking trails
- 600 foot floating boardwalk with two observation decks overlooking a wetland area.
- Nature play yard
- Picnic area
- Visitor Center
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 or as a 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 am to 4:30 pm. 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 two 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!
- Self-Guided Bingo Hike
- Tree Quest
Trails at Maplewood Nature Center
Nature Center trails are open every day from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes 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
- 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.