Ashland Nature Center serves as Delaware Nature Society's headquarters with 130 acres of woods, meadows, marsh, the Red Clay Creek, and many trails to explore. The site is open to the public year-round, features educational programs, a picnic area, Visitor Center, Hawk Watch, Butterfly House, Bird Banding station, Bird Blind, Hummingbird Haven garden, two Lenni Lenape longhouses, and an overnight lodge for school and public groups.Support Ashland Nature Center »

 

Autumn is awesome at Ashland

Activities for adults, kids, and families.
Upcoming in-depth activities
Drop by for our weekly free activities »

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Special Attractions

Butterfly House

Butterfly House

Come on by daily from July – September.
Find it by the Visitor Center (see on a map).

Discover the secret lives of a captive (and captivating!) group of insects…butterflies! Peek under a milkweed leaf to observe pin-sized monarch eggs. Find chrysalises, hungry caterpillars, and adults. This walk-in mesh greenhouse is a complete ecosystem, home to about 15 species of butterflies and moths.

Bird Blind

Bird Blind

Come on by daily.
Find it downhill from the Lodge to the right of the fire circle by the stream
(see on a map).

Visit our new Bird Blind! Sit inside and let the birds come to you. Whether you just want to watch birds up close, or to try your luck getting good photographs, you will find the Bird Blind a relaxing and fun part of your visit to Ashland.

Hummingbird Haven

Hummingbird Haven

Come on by daily, Spring – Fall.
Find it by our Visitor Center within our Certified Wildlife Habitat garden
(see on a map).

Visit our little Hummingbird Haven! Walk the garden path with native flowers and hummingbird feeders - all of which are great for our local pollinators.

Hike our trails

Enjoy our marshes, hills, meadows, forest, streams, and floodplains.

Floodplain Trail Guide

Floodplain Trail Guide

This trail has been designed to explore the natural features and purpose of a floodplain. The trail follows the Red Clay Creek upstream through woodlands and fields before looping back to conclude at the Visitor Center. Along the trail, you will encounter 24 blue numbered markers denoting interesting aspects of the floodplain, such as the land animals, stream-dwelling organisms, and various trees, shrubs, and other plants that thrive in a wet or moist environment. You will also learn why it is important for humans to protect the creek and keep the floodplain in its natural state.

Succession Trail Guide

Succession Trail Guide

This trail has been designed to illustrate the process of ecological succession. Succession is the gradual change in the composition of a natural community over time; for example, the change from an old field into a forest.

The trail winds through fields, shrub areas, a pine forest, a young woods, and a mature deciduous forest before leading back along the floodplain of the Red Clay Creek. Along the way, 34 orange numbered markers illustrate various stages of succession and some of the factors which bring about ecological change. You will see how human activities can both speed up and slow down the process of succession.

Treetop Trail Guide

Treetop Trail Guide

This trail has been designed as an introduction to forest plants and forest ecology of the Piedmont physiographic province of the Mid-Atlantic region. The trail begins along the floodplain below the Visitor Center building and leads across Barley Mill Road and up into a large oak-beech-tulip forest on the hillside overlooking the Red Clay Creek.

As you walk the trail, you will encounter 39 green numbered markers denoting interesting features along the way. You will be introduced to many of the trees, shrubs, and smaller forest plants that are common in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Natures Bounty Trail Guide

Nature's Bounty Trail Guide

This trail has been designed to teach about some of the fascinating ways that Native Americans (Indians), European settlers, and modern man have used the common plants and animals in this area for medicines, food, tools, and various other uses. The trail begins on the flood plain below the Visitor Center building and leads across Barley Mill Road, up into a hillside forest, and back through a freshwater marsh. You will encounter 27 yellow numbered markers denoting points of interest along the way.

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