All photographers (professional or amateur) who conduct posed photography are required to apply for 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 in Cottage Grove at this time, but may be an option in the future.
Permits & Policies
Miles of trails are open sunup to sundown for the public to explore free of charge. The Main Office is located on the Main Property in West St. Paul. It is open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed on major holidays, but trails remain open for hiking year-round. 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.
Pets & Bicycles
For the safety of students and wildlife; dogs and other pets are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center property. Bicycles are not allowed on Dodge Nature Center trails. Bikers please stay on the River to River Greenway County Bike Trail, found along the Main Property’s southern border.
Local wildlife (turkeys, raccoons, turtles, deer and more) live at the nature center. Resident farm animals and raptors can be viewed at our Main Property. Please keep your hands out of animal pens and stay outside of pasture fences. Dodge offers a variety of nature programs year-round for you to meet and learn more about the animal ambassadors.
Please leave nature discoveries and artifacts where you find them so that the next visitors can enjoy them.
Smoke and Tobacco-Free
The only smoke seen at the nature center is during a prescribed prairie burn or a campfire program. Smoke and tobacco-free nature centers keep kids and community healthy.
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.
Groups of 7 People or More
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.
Dodge Events/Program Refunds
Event/program admission is nonrefundable. Events and programs happen regardless of weather conditions. No full or partial refunds will be given.