The inside portions of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center may still be closed for Covid precautions, but the outdoors is open and ready to be explored!
Aldo Leopold Nature Center (ALNC) is located at 330 Femrite Drive – Monona, WI. The entrance off of Femrite takes you past some apartment buildings and also provides access to Woodland Park and Edna Taylor Conservation Park. The trails and outdoor area are open to the public 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk.
About the ALNC
The ALNC allows your family to connect with nature by exploring wetlands, and woodland and prairie trails. They are focused on education and offer numerous educational programs, summer camps, and preschool classes. (The building facility with Nature Nooks and other exhibits is currently closed, as well as the indoor restrooms, so keep that in mind.)
My five year old daughter and I have visited twice now with friends. You can wander through trails that feature different types of ecosystems and habitats common in Wisconsin. The beauty of visiting at different times of year is the chance to see how nature and the environment change with the seasons. In the spring we saw recently cleared prairie grasses, bare trees, and baby animals. At our visit in mid-June, we spied a muskrat having a snack in the pond, and compared how much everything had grown in just a few months.
The hiking trails are FREE and open to the public daily from dawn until dusk!
Kids of all ages would be welcome, and I’d advise baby-wearing over using a stroller for the outside portions. Each of our visits was around an hour; you could easily extend the time by packing a picnic lunch to enjoy in any of the grassy areas off of the parking lot, or exploring farther into the Edna Taylor Conservation Park which is linked. This is a very casual, low-commitment way to get your family outdoors and learning about the state we call home.