At Dodge Nature Center we have policies that protect wildlife and provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our visitors.


Trail Hours

Miles of trails are open sunup to sundown for you to explore prairies, woodlands and wetlands. The Main Office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed on major holidays, but trails remain open for hiking year-round. Maps available for print. You can cross country ski or snowshoe on the Marie and Lilly property trails during snowy months. While Dodge does not create ski trails, guests are invited (and encouraged) to create their own.


Visiting groups of 7 or more people

All pre-arranged or organized groups of 7 or more people (including children) must call in advance to request permission for use of outdoor facilities and spaces. Certain fees may apply. Please call 651-455-4531 to schedule your visit. Dodge Nature Center is a carry-in, carry-out facility. Please keep our grounds clean and free of debris by taking with you what you brought.


Pets and Bicycles

Dogs and other pets are not allowed. Bikes are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center trails. Bikers please use the county bike trail along the property's southern border.


Viewing Animals

Farm animals, raptors, and local wildlife (turkeys, raccoons, turtles, deer and more) live at the nature center. Farm animals are available for viewing from outside pasture fences. You can also see our rescued raptors that are housed near the Main Office. Please keep your hands out of animal pens. Dodge offers a variety of nature programs year-round for you to meet and learn more about our animal ambassadors.


Photography and Media

All photographers (professional or amateur) who conduct posed photography are required to obtain a permit. Nature photography is welcome without a permit. Any photos taken at Dodge Nature Center intended for sale or publication will require permission with an applicable fee. Photography is not allowed on Dodge's Shepard Farm location at this time, but it will be an option in the future as the expansion opens more features.

Apply for a Day Permit ($50)

or Annual Media Permit ($150)

Use & Publication Form and Fees


Tread Lightly

Please leave nature discoveries and artifacts where you find them so that the next visitors can enjoy.


Smoke and Tobacco-Free

The only smoke we want to see at the nature center is during a prescribed prairie burn or a campfire program. Smoke and tobacco-free nature centers keep our kids healthy.


Dodge Event/Program Refunds

Admission to Dodge events/programs are nonrefundable. Dodge events and programs will happen regardless of weather conditions. No full or partial refunds will be given.


Inclement Weather

In the case of inclement weather, Dodge Nature Center and Dodge Nature Preschool follow the closing guidelines of School District 197. Should District 197 close due to snow or other severe weather, Dodge Nature Center and Dodge Nature Preschool will close programs, classes, and offices.

Should inclement weather fall on a day when District 197 is not in session (such as a Saturday), Dodge Nature Center staff will contact program participants with details relating to their visit.

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