River Trails Nature Center

As typical little boys, my guys LOVE being outside.  Just hand them a stick, point them in the direction of a murky puddle, and they are happy as clams.  One of my favorite places to take them, especially after a big rain storm (apparently I really like researching how to get mud stains out of toddler jeans) is the River Trails Nature Center and Preserve.

The River Trails Nature Center Grounds

One of the main reasons why we love going there so much is because it is an extremely authentic and free way to interact with nature, just like Wildwood Nature Center. Beware the first time you visit….you actually feel like you are driving into the woods.  But don’t worry, the nature center is there.

No matter the season, the grounds are stunning.  My boys and I spent about an hour walking the trails and stopping at the bee and bird habitats to simply admire and observe the unique animals, as well as collect leaves for upcoming crafts.

Before we had started coming to the River Trails Nature Center, I had never seen a bald eagle up close and personal.  Now that I have, it is no surprise to me that we chose it as a symbol of our beautiful country.

The River Trails Nature Center Building

When the weather is cold and rainy, we can also learn about native plants and animals by checking out the exhibits inside the nature center.  There are birds, snakes, rabbits, frogs, and even skunks (thankfully they no longer have spraying capabilities).

But the biggest draw for my water loving boys is the open air turtle pond.  My boys can watch the turtles sunbathing, swimming, you name it…they are mesmerized for hours!

There is one other room at the River Trails Nature Center, and it is specifically geared towards little kids.  There is a huge tree house filled with tons of cozy spots to read nature books, as well as stuffed animals and other props for puppet shows, and tons of nature-themed puzzles and games stationed throughout the room.

There are also lots of stuffed animals, and I’m not talking about cuddly teddy bears, and other preserved bugs and insects that little ones can study up close–whether in the bee room or the general play room.

It is definitely worth your while to visit the River Trails Nature Center, no matter the weather outside. But if I were you, I would bundle up and head outside no matter what because it is so amazingly beautful. I look forward to when my boys are old enough to participate more in the animal demonstrations and other great happenings the nature center has to offer.

Looking for more nature based fun?  Search Nature Center and/or Outdoor Fun in the side bar.


Have fun enjoying nature!
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  1. Cheryl says

    That looks like a great spot! Isn’t it funny how there are little pockets of wonder tucked into your neighborhood? We have a nature trail near my very suburban house, and yet it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere…and it looks like it, too! They filmed part of Season 2 of the Walking Dead there, LOL. Sweet little boys–glad you are enjoying fall with them!

  2. Laura Mitchell says

    I want to take my boys!! I have two boys as well, I must be a lot like you in researching how to get stains out of clothes. Almost everything we do makes a mess! My oldest loves to explore and adores animals!! He may very well grow up to be a vet. Thanks for sharing you’re adventure, I love this time of year!

  3. Alina says

    It’s amazing to have so many beautiful places to take the little ones. You can live a late childhood along with them, while still having the grown up perspective over everything. Sounds fun, fun, fun to me! 🙂

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