Did you know there are more than 70 different nature centers located across our fair state? It’s not difficult to believe that we are committed to protecting, learning about and enjoying our environment. With one of the best park systems in the country, we already knew that the Dairy State is committed to protecting the land while making it accessible for our residents to enjoy.
All across the state, in every corner, you can find nature centers and preserves that work to maintain the integrity of the land while helping people understand and learn from the land.
With miles and miles of trail, opportunities to learn and fun programs, you’ll want to check out which nature centers are in your area and plan a trip immediately.
1. Heckrodt Wetland Reserve - Menasha
Despite the growing suburbs around it, Heckrodt maintains its reserve that includes with habitats including forested wetland, cattail marsh, open water, created prairie, open field, and upland forest.
Located at 1305 Plank Rd, Menasha, WI 54952.
2. 1000 Island Environmental Center - Kaukana
With its location on the Fox River and 7.2 miles of hiking trails, you'll never be bored at this lovely nature center.
Located at 1000 Beaulieu Ct, Kaukauna, WI 54130.
3. Navarino Nature Center - Shiocton
This nature center is located within the 1,000 acre Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Navarino Wildlife Area. They have "senior safaris" for older folks, which I love.
Located at W5646 Lindsten Road, Shiocton, WI 54170.
4. Aldo Leopold Nature Center - Madison
Campuses in Monona and Black Earth, field trip, after school, summer camp and family programs and trails that are free to the public.
Located at 330 Femrite Dr, Madison, WI 53716.
5. Elwood H. May Environmental Park - Sheboygan
This city-owned park has a nature center and arboretum, plus plenty on the calendar to keep you coming back.
Located at 3615 Mueller Rd, Sheboygan, WI 53083.
6. North Lakeland Discovery Center - Manitowish Waters
Twelve miles of trails and a packed calendar meant to combine education with love of the outdoors. Located at 14006 Discovery Lane, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545.
7. Beaver Creek Reserve - Fall Creek
More than 400 acres, a butterfly house and access to an Observatory make a trip here worthwhile. Located at S1 County Road K, Fall Creek, WI 54742.
8. Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve - Appleton
Check this place out for maple syrup tappings, dog sledding, bird hikes and more.
Located at 4815 N Lynndale Dr, Appleton, WI 54913.
9. Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary - Sarona
Thanks to its northwoods location, this Sanctuary has 400 acres of forests, meadows, bogs and glacial lakes. Located at N2384 Hunt Hill Rd, Sarona, WI 54870.
10. Central Wisconsin Environmental Station - Amherst Junction
Operated by students from UW-Stevens Point, this is a teaching and learning station on more than 200 acres. Located at 10186 County Rd MM, Amherst Junction, WI 54407.
11. Retzer Nature Center - Waukesha
When the wildflowers are in bloom, there's nowhere prettier in the area. Make time for the Planetarium and check out their packed calendar of events.
Located at S14 W28167 Madison St, Waukesha, WI 53188
12. Friends of Fallen Timbers - Black Creek
Talk about education focused, this place is 456 acres, owned by six area school districts and operated by CESA 6, hands-on learning for students. Located at W4531 Robin Rd., Black Creek, Wisconsin.
13. Ridges Sanctuary - Baileys Harbor
This preserve is recognized as a National Natural Landmark and was established in 1937 as Wisconsin's first area set aside to protect native flora. There is a long list of rare species found here, including 25 species of orchids. Located at 8270 WI-57, Baileys Harbor, WI 54202.
14. Havenwoods State Forest - Milwaukee
With its location on Milwaukee's northwest side, this 237 acre forest serves as the only access to nature for many children growing up in the area. The urban arboretum is exquisite.
Located at 6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53209.
15. Urban Ecology Center - Milwaukee
No one does more to protect, educate and enjoy the environment around Wisconsin's largest urban area than these folks. With three different locations, these guys do everything from kayak rental to river clean up and everything you can imagine in between.
Located at 1500 E Park Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53211.
16. Mosquito Hill Nature Center - New London
This place has 430 acres on the Wolf River and offers classes on birds, plants and bats, among other things.
Located at N3880 Rogers Rd, New London, WI 54961.
17. Lac Lawrann Conservancy - West Bend
This conservancy is still growing but it's four miles of trails are great for hiking or snowshoeing. They've got tons of summer programming to keep your littlest ones entertained.
Located at 300 Schmidt Rd, West Bend, WI 53090.
18. Schlitz Audubon Nature Center - Fox Point
With a unique location right along Lake Michigan just north of Milwaukee, this place actually was once a farm for the Schlitz Brewery draft horses,
Located at 1111 E Brown Deer Rd, For Point, WI 53217
19. Ledge View Nature Center - Chilton
Tour-guided access to dolostone caves, geography shaped by the Niagara Escarpment, an observation tower, a butterfly garden and more are the reasons you should make time to visit here.
Located at W2348 Short Rd, Chilton, WI 53014.
20. Marsh Haven Nature Center - Waupun
Located at the end of Horicon Marsh, this place offers a unique place to appreciate and learn about nature.
Located at W10145 WI-49, Waupun, WI 53963.
21. Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve - Two Rivers
This preserve is huge, with nearly 1,200 acres on the bump about between Two Rivers and the Door County peninsula. With a huge mix of habitats, you'll find so much to see and do here. Located at 3000 Hawthorne Ave, Two Rivers, WI 54241.
22. Pringle Nature Center - Bristol
Located within Bristol Woods County Park, which contains upland forest, wetlands, oak savanna remnants, and prairie areas to explore. Located at 9800 County Hwy M B, Bristol, WI 53104.