Experience the beauty and peace of nature in the middle of the Twin Cities. Miles of hiking trails are free and open to the public from sunup to sundown every day of the year.
Experience the beauty and peace of nature in the middle of the Twin Cities. Hike trails and explore prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. See farm animals, raptors, and local wildlife. Miles of trails are open to the public at no charge from sunup to sundown every day of the year.
acres of land
miles of hiking trails
Dodge buildings and barns remain closed to the public, and restrooms are not currently available.
Trails are open to the public, but you must maintain a six-foot distance from other hikers, and follow the state’s Outdoor Recreation Guidelines (updated May 7). Please spread out around our three properties: Main, Lilly, and Marie. If parking lots are full, please consider hiking another time.
Miles of trails are open to the public from sunup to sundown, year-round. There is no charge for you to explore the prairies, woodlands, and wetlands at the Main, Marie, and Lilly properties. Trail maps for each property are available on each of their webpages.
For the safety of Dodge staff, students and protecting native wildlife and landscapes, 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.
For the safety and consideration of Dodge staff and students, all prearranged and organized groups of 10 or more people (including children) must call in advance to request permission for use of outdoor facilities and spaces. Groups must adhere to the following guidelines:
– Groups must provide contact information of a group member responsible for the group while on-site.
– If a group encounters Dodge staff and students on-site, please allow them space to teach and learn—guided groups have paid for an educational experience.
– Groups must supervise children to ensure they are treating native wildlife and landscapes with respect.
– 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.
– Groups must follow all visitor guidelines listed on this page.
Please call 651-455-4531 or email email@example.com to schedule your group visit. Certain fees may apply.
If a naturalist-guided program would better suit your needs, learn more about our offered programs below.
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 do not feed the animals and 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 about our animal ambassadors.
All photographers (professional and amateur) who conduct posed photography are required to obtain a media permit. Nature photography is welcome without a permit. Any photo taken at Dodge Nature Center intended for sale or publication will require permission with an applicable fee.
Please leave nature discoveries and artifacts where you find them so that the next visitors can enjoy them.
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.
The Lilly Property is the best Dodge location to cross country ski or snowshoe. While we do not create ski trails—guests are invited (and encouraged) to create their own. You are welcome to do this activity at any of the Dodge properties. Dodge does not rent skis or snowshoes.
In the case of inclement weather, Dodge Nature Center and Preschool follow the closing guidelines of School District 197. Should District 197 close due to snow or other severe weather, Dodge Nature Center and Preschool will cancel programs, classes, and close 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.
Event and program admission is nonrefundable. Events and programs happen regardless of weather conditions. No full or partial refunds will be given.