The 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. 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Jamestown Audubon Sanctuary, 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.

9. 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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3197 Route 44/55, Gardiner, NY
About Us Established in 1963, the Mohonk Preserve was the first land trust established to protect the Shawangunk Ridge. It is also one of the oldes... Read More
56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY
Five Rivers EEC aims to enhance the public's appreciation of and sense of responsibility for the environment and to raise public awareness and unde... Read More
1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford, NY
Vision Statement To be the premier museum of 19th-century American life. Mission Statement Genesee Country Village & Museum interprets 19th-c... Read More
174 Lape Road, Esperance, NY
About Us The Landis Arboretum is a public garden on 548 acres and six miles of hiking trails overlooking the Schoharie Valley near Esperance, NY. F... Read More
1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
About Us: The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery closed its doors as a New York State fish hatchery on March 31, 1982. The following day it was reop... Read More
1610 Welch Road, North Java, NY
Beaver Meadow is a 324-acre nature preserve in North Java, NY. The preserve features its namesake beaver meadow with its associated ponds, glacial ... Read More
377 Bridgehampton/ Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY
Mission:The mission of the South Fork Natural History Museum & Nature Center – SoFo is to stimulate interest in, advance knowledge of, an... 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
West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, Bronx, NY
History of Wave Hill  Wave Hill House was built as a country home in 1843 by jurist William Lewis Morris. From 1866-1903 it was owned by Will... Read More
2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY
Mission The New York Botanical Garden is an advocate for the plant kingdom. The Garden pursues its mission through its role as a museum of living ... Read More
990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Mission Statement:Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity w... Read More
1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY
PRI’s Museum of the Earth was established in 2003 to provide the general public with a unique opportunity to explore our world through a mix ... Read More
43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY
Mission And History Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, inn... Read More
120 Muser Drive, Cornwall, NY
Mission : The Mission of the Museum is to create responsible caretakers of our environment. Through quality educational programs for the public tha... Read More
1525 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY
Nature Center HistoryIn 1994, Henry Hansen made possible the purchase of a log cabin building which became the Hansen Nature Center. In 1998, he pr... Read More
50 Barry Drive, Glen Cove, NY
The Museum is a center for research on Long Island geology and a valued resource in the study of the Island's  Native American archaeology. Re... Read More
US Route 20A, Big Tree Rd., Lakeville, NY
Our Mission:The Chip Holt Nature Center provides interpretive (natural and cultural history) and outdoor recreation programming to the public and s... Read More
12 South State Street, Nunda, NY
History:Company History: Once Again Nut Butter (OANB) was founded by Jeremy Thaler and Constance Potter, in 1976, as a worker cooperative. The Once... Read More
95 Douglas Road, Honeoye Falls, NY
About Us:Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms. In 196... Read More
7 Sugar Hill Road, North Salem, NY
Who We Are..."The Nature of Things" is an environmental outreach program that presents quality live animal presentations to schools and centers thr... Read More
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