Heckrodt Nature Center exterior

Nature Center

Come learn and explore in the 4,000-square-foot Nature Center at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve. Exhibits show the importance of our local wetlands and include aquariums that are home to local fishes, frogs, turtles, and snakes. These opportunities are hands-on and serve as a launchpad of discovery for your time out on the trails. Outdoor Interpretive Areas include The Wild Space, Wetland Discovery Area, Lopas Pond Dock, Wetland Education Station, Eagles Nest & Flight Line, and Re-claimed Prairie. The Nature Center facilities feature an interpretive gallery, Discovery Den, restrooms, kitchen, solarium, and classroom/rental space.

Three miles of trails, including nearly 4,000 feet of elevated boardwalks, provide access to the wetland habitat for all visitors to explore and enjoy bird watching, hiking, photography, and snowshoeing in winter. Wheelchairs are available for visitors who may need assistance. Snowshoes are available in winter for a small fee ($5 per rental). Please call to check on the availability of rental snowshoes before your visit.


Heckrodt Wetland Reserve Trail MapNature Center Hours:

Tuesday – Friday: 8 AM – 4:30 PM
Saturday:  11 AM – 4 PM
Sunday and Monday: Closed*

Trails are open 6 AM – 9 PM every day. (View/Download Trail Map)


*The Nature Center is closed on all major holidays. On the day of our Children’s Christmas Gift Workshop in December, the building is open only to program participants. Trails remain open on these days.



Presentation room with banquet tables and chairs

Room Rental:

The Presentation Room of the Nature Center provides a great location for training sessions and workshops, meetings, and family events. Learn more about room rentals at Heckrodt Wetland Reserve.