Eastman Nature Center

Nestled in the sugar maple floodplain forest of Rush Creek, this is a great place to begin an outdoor journey. Walk across the floating boardwalk, explore the miles of hiking and snowshoeing trails for a bit of exercise or visit the nature center. Hop on the bike trails of Elm Creek Park Reserve or sit quietly and watch the creek flow by. Visitors may see trumpeter swans, wild turkey, bluebirds, dragonflies and abundant native wildflowers.

Nature Exploration Area Closed

The Nature Exploration Area is closed for the remainder of the winter to allow for cross-country skiing on the Monarch Trail.

Elm Creek PDF Maps

Find a printable map of Eastman and other areas of the park on the Elm Creek Park Reserve page.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing | Multiple Locations
Students can fulfill curriculum needs and personal interests while developing an understanding of science, the natural world, art and more!

Feb. 7-16 | Multiple Locations
Celebrate Valentine's day outdoors! Go for a candlelit snowshoe, try kicksledding, cozy up around a campfire and more.

Ongoing | Online
Explore nature from the comfort of your home! Learn about turtles, trumpeter swans and more in an online class.

All Programs and Events

Snowshoe Rentals

New for the 2020-21 season: Snowshoes can be reserved from Eastman up to seven days in advance as snow conditions allow. Reserve your snowshoes online or over the phone by calling 763.559.6700. Advanced reservations are required. 

More about Eastman

Eastman Nature Center is named after Whitney H. Eastman, an avid birdwatcher and advocate of environmental education. The nature center has something for everyone. Floor-to-ceiling windows entice visitors to do some indoor birdwatching. (Use this checklist and guide to record your observations!) Children enjoy hands-on activities, dressing up in costumes and putting on a puppet show in our puppet tree. Live reptiles and amphibians add to the rotating interpretive displays throughout the building. The building also has a quiet reading room, a screened in and open air deck, large classrooms and an after-hours restroom. 

Opportunities to enhance your experience along the trails are available through cell phone audio stops, trail guide sheets, exploration kits, and interpretive signs. Just down the trail, let your children play "wild" in the nature exploration area. Kids can dig, climb, make a fort or dam, and engage their imaginations, while adults play along or observe nearby.

Groups

The professional naturalists at Eastman Nature Center offer outdoor education programs for schools, scout troops, senior centers, homeschools and other organized groups.

Wild Birthday Parties are offered year-round and are appropriate for children age four and older. Nature-based topics range from pond insects to birds, and snowshoeing to live animals. 

Join other teens in the Naturalist Youth Leader Program or help care for the animals that live at Eastman. Three Rivers offers several volunteer and internship opportunities in the parks.

Rooms in the Eastman Nature Center can be rented to host meetings, retreats, family gatherings, birthdays, small weddings and receptions, and other events.

Give to Eastman

Love Eastman Nature Center? Consider supporting its outdoor education programs, displays and animal care with a donation

Volunteering

We rely on the support of volunteers to maintain the high quality programs and operations at our nature centers.

The Wandering Naturalist

Episodes 75 & 76: Landing into History

Learn all about The Landing on this month's episodes. Learn what archaeology has revealed about the history of human use of the land, how we manage nature and education at a historic village and more.

Related Blog Posts

January 13, 2021

With over 100 miles of winter hiking trails, we've got you covered for your next outdoor adventure! Read on to see some of our favorite short, mid-length and long hikes in Three Rivers.

December 09, 2020

In Minnesota, we stop seeing and hearing insects as winter settles in. Find out where they've gone and how they survive our coldest season.

September 02, 2020

This year has presented unique challenges for educators around the world. Learn how one of our environmental educators adapted to teaching in the pandemic and what new strategies she used to benefit her students.

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