The Nature Center features over 500 acres of prairie, forests and wetlands. An easy one mile walk gets visitors to an observation tower where they can see a majority of the property. Color-coded trails and signs help visitors navigate the over 10 miles of trails.
The Interpretive Center is a 4 year old building that allows visitors to explore fun and interactive exhibits with live animals, touch tables, puzzles and games, a play area, and more! You can also learn about the local history, the wildlife, and the story of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.
The Hormel Nature Center offers hands-on environmental education programs to preschool through high school students. The Nature Center serves the Austin school district along with home schools and other outside districts. The Nature Center sees about 4,000 school age students a year.
Summer Adventure Classes
When school is out, learning at the Nature Center is anything but over! Course offerings throughout the summer provide students of all ages opportunities to learn about everything from water conservation to the migration of the monarch butterfly. The Nature Center also offers family summer classes. The Nature Center sees about 1,000 kids/families over the summer.
Generous community support allows the Nature Center to provide world-class programs to the general public at no cost to participants.
During the summer, visitors can rent canoes and kayaks for use on the pond and Dobbins Creek! Exploring on the water is a great way to experience the Nature Center and to see wildlife you might miss while walking the trails. When the snow arrives, the Nature Center rents cross-country ski equipment as well as snowshoes.
Sola Fide Observatory
See the objects in our solar system and beyond through a 16-inch reflector telescope. The Nature Center staff offer viewing opportunities twice a month on Saturday evenings.