9 Best Nature Centers in New York!

Whether you’re seeking educational activities for your family or acres of hiking trails to immerse yourself in, New York State has plenty of nature centers to meet your desires. From beautiful marine parks in Brooklyn, to immaculate preserves much further north, New York’s natural diversity is something to experience. Here are the 9 best nature centers in the state. 

Tanglewood Nature Center, Elmira, NY

Tanglewood Nature Center encompasses nine miles of Finger Likes walking paths, a museum with 43 species of animals, and winter activities like snowshoeing. Admission is free year-round but donations are accepted.

Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park, Brooklyn, NY

There are 530 acres of land to be explored at this Brooklyn nature center. Enjoy outdoor nature trails or simply overlook the bay from inside the beautiful glass education center, where kids check out the exhibits and learn about wildlife.

Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo, NY

With five miles of nature trails and over 200 miles of boardwalk, marshland, ponds, and hiking trails make Tifft Nature Preserve a great bird watching spot and natural retreat near Buffalo.

Mashomack Preserve, Shelter Island, NY

Covering a large portion of Shelter Island, Mashomack contains some of the best wildlife there is to be seen on Long Island. The island has an extremely large population of wild ospreys, who come there to nest each year.

The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY

This rustic Adirondack nature center contains 81 acres of woods to explore, a museum with live animals, and the brand-new “Wild Walk,” which is a pathway built above the trees.

Henry Luce Nature Observatory at Belvedere Castle, New York, NY

Located in a gorgeous old castle in Central Park, Henry Luce Nature Observatory allows kids to borrow binoculars and get a bird’s eye view of the natural surroundings. Inside, there are plenty of exhibits with artifacts to explore.

Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center, Voorheesville, NY

This educational center provides visitors with the opportunity to see a live working beehive, view birds and fossils, or set out on foot or skis along Thacher State Park’s many trails.

Audubon Community Nature Center, Jamestown, NY

Drawing nearly 30,000 visitors a year, this 600-acre wildlife sanctuary has plenty to offer explorers, including hiking trails, exhibits, picnic areas, and educational programs.

Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, Fineview, NY

Resting on a 600-acre peninsula in the St. Lawrence River, Minna Anthony Common Nature Center offers stunning vistas wherever you look. Try the miles of hiking and skiing trails, check out the glacial potholes along the Eel Bay trail, and pay a visit to the butterfly house.

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120 Segar & Rosenberg Road, Kauneonga Lake, NY
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2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne, NY
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181 Galli Curci Rd, Highmount, NY
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1394 Oakdale Road, Johnson City, NY
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400 Sam's Point Road, Cragsmoor, NY
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477 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge, NY
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Route 23C, Maude Adams Road, Tannersville, NY
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3197 Route 44/55, Gardiner, NY
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174 Lape Road, Esperance, NY
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174 Lape Road, Esperance, NY
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403 Hilton Road, Apalachin, NY
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5922 State Route 28 North, Newcomb, NY
The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) offers outstanding learning opportunities in the heart of the Adirondack Park—New York's unique natu... Read More
157 Lucas Avenue, Kingston, NY
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501 main street, 2b, Cairo, NY
840 Upper Front Street, Binghamton, NY
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87 Nature Center Way, Voorheesville, NY
The Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center opened in July 2001 and is located in Thompson's Lake State Park and adjacent John Boyd Thacher State Park... Read More
338 McLean Road, Cortland, NY
Mission: To Provide year-round environmental education and recreation opportunities through utilization and protection of the natural and cultural... Read More
30 Campus Road, Annandale on Hudson, NY
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DuBois Road, Catskill, NY
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