Jay C. Hormel Nature Center1304 21st St NE
Austin, MN 55912
Turn North off of Interstate 90 at the 21st street exit in Austin, Exit 180B. Go 1/4 of a mile north on 21st street, look for signs for the J.C. Hormel Natrure Center.,Get Directions
The Nature Center features over 500 acres that includes restored prairie, forests and wetlands. Enjoy over 10 miles of hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails; a three-story observation tower, a state-of-the-art Interpretive Center, staff-led programs on topics such as wildflower and bird hikes, cider pressing, maple syruping, monarch tagging, bird banding, honey-making, and more. Handicapped accessible.
Hours & Dates
- Monday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Tuesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Wednesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Saturday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
- Sunday: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Free admission. Free parking. X-Cnty skiing: 1/2 day equipment rental. Ski rental $6.00Canoe rental on Dobbins Creek and East Side Lake $10 1/2 day rental, canoe, paddles and lifejacketsNo Ski passes $1 ski rental 18 and under, Adults 19 over $6
- Eco-friendly landscape/facility design
- Eco-friendly purchasing practices
- Energy efficiency/conservation
- Waste reduction/reuse/recycling
- Accessible to disabled
- Can accommodate groups of 45 or more
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
Based on 64 reviews
This nature center had good trails, and we arrived at the height of butterfly season! We also saw a weasel as we hiked toward the observation tower.
— AquatenniiaT, September 19, 2020
Enjoyed the indoor area the most.
A few large rescue birds were the highlight to us.
No charge! Maple syrup is sold as fund-raising if desired, no pressure.
Maps of trails and Austin were available...
— Ron C, August 3, 2020
We visited on a windy and cool October day. The interpretative center is nice, good info, nice movie about it's history. Trails are maintained but not well marked. We were able to follow the map we...
— Abbyfaith, October 27, 2019
very well done and presented nature museum near an easy exit on I90.
Highlights the conservation efforts by the Hormel family and extraordinary efforts to rebuild a lost woodland and all of the...
— zazoo969, October 8, 2019
Too close to the noise of the freeway in my opinion for a true nature experience. That does not mean that it wouldn't be educational for the kids, just not remote enough to truly experience nature.
— phooey5, September 30, 2019