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Jay C. Hormel Nature Center

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Address: 1304 21st St NE, Austin, MN 55912-4104
Phone Number:
+1 507-437-7519
Website
Today
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

Home to over 10 miles of hiking trails that take visitors through over 500...

Home to over 10 miles of hiking trails that take visitors through over 500 acres of prairies, wetlands and forests. An observation tower provides a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding preserve. The Interpretative Center offers a variety of displays, hands on exhibits and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Live educational animals allow visitors to get up close to some exciting native species. The Childhood Room features a library, puzzles, games and a great view of the bird feeders. The Jay C Hormel Nature Center offers ski and snow shoe rental in the winter, kayak and canoe rental in the summer and many special events year-round.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 44 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 21
    Excellent
  • 16
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 0
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  • 0
    Terrible
Open house for new interpretive center

A must to see if in the area. New center has opportunities for young & old. Very well planned out & a treasure of a center. The trails also offer an adventure for all grass paths... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Marsha K
via mobile
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44 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 44: English reviews
Level Contributor
108 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A must to see if in the area. New center has opportunities for young & old. Very well planned out & a treasure of a center. The trails also offer an adventure for all grass paths or tar your choice. Come & experience the beauty of the outdoors & breathe in some fresh air. Come to see the two new... More 

Helpful?
Thank Marsha K
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
95 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is about the best hiking you are going to get for Mower County. It is good for going for shorter hour or less walks and they are going to be opening a new visitor center there also. Good place to spend some time if you are a visitor to the area.

Helpful?
Thank MandySSS
Fargo, North Dakota
Level Contributor
384 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2016

We walked here on Thanksgiving and again the next day. There were very few other walkers. We loved the tall prairie grasses and the variety of landscapes we could walk through.

Helpful?
1 Thank Larry P
Level Contributor
108 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2016 via mobile

This is the place to go to for time away from all the hustle & bustle of the day! Go & enjoy some time out in the wide open spaces & listen to the birds singing!! Hiking is the best!!

Helpful?
Thank Marsha K
Bloomington, Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviewed October 16, 2016

Was just there for a wedding ceremony and reception, and the outside ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. Enough space to move, plenty of places to hide the bride until it's time, and the inside for the reception had plenty of space to eat and dance. All in all a good day!

Helpful?
Thank thil1jul
Austin, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed September 12, 2016 via mobile

This beautiful, natural, wooded area is getting a face lift with a new building to great visitors. Not finished yet but moving ahead to a wonderful welcoming place for folks of all ages to visit and learn more about the outdoors. Many trails to walk and ponds to explore and fish. If you are not too noisy you may see... More 

Helpful?
Thank pathollund
Ben S, Intern Naturalist at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, responded to this review

Fall is a beautiful time at the Nature Center! Walking the 10+ miles of trails, you are almost sure to see wildlife, and some of the first leaves revealing their fall colors. The new interpretive center is well underway and scheduled to be dedicated on April 22nd, Earth Day, 2017. Halloween Warm-Up will be Friday October 14th and Saturday October... More 

Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2016

The visitor center was good and a new one is being built. Just don't go during lunch; as they will "kick you out" so they can close and go to lunch. The trails are very good and the scenery is fantastic.

Helpful?
Thank cuTRis
Ben S, Intern Naturalist at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, responded to this review

Thank you for the positive review! The Nature Center's new interpretive center building is under construction, with the dedication ceremony scheduled for Earth Day (April 22nd) 2017. While we currently close over the lunch hour (12-1 pm), we are working toward staffing the center to remain open all day (8 am - 5 pm.) Even if the interpretive center is... More 

Kenosha, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
41 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2016

Nice place to visit, very quaint. Austin is a remarkable little town that revolves around the HORMEL plant. Very nice restaurants and bar scene also. If you do get a chance to visit this neat little city you HAVE to check out TENDERMAID loose hamburger shop (great malts along with the hamburgers). And a short distance from the downtown area... More 

Helpful?
Thank ronkury
Ben S, Intern Naturalist at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, responded to this review

Thank you for your positive review of Austin! While you are in Austin, the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center is a great place for a pre- or post-meal walk out in nature. Stretch your legs and see all kinds of wildlife before cheering on the Bruins! In addition to more than ten miles of trails, you can explore the Interpretive... More 

Austin, Minnesota
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2016

Great place to explore summer or winter! Lots of wildlife, birds, and great scenery. Well maintained trails to hike or cross-country ski on.

Helpful?
Thank Gina D
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2016

The key words here is "nature center". We were expecting a garden, groomed and clean. Not the case. Very rustic. The building wasn't open as we went at 7:30 am to walk the paths.

Helpful?
Thank Shirley D
Ben S, Intern Naturalist at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, responded to this review

Thank you for your visit! The Jay C. Hormel Nature Center is a wildlife preserve, with more than 500 acres of habitat for many plants and animals. Our 10+ miles of trails are maintained for visitors to enjoy exploring forests, prairies and creeks. Other than the trails and occasional restoration work, we let nature do the landscaping. The Interpretive Center... More 

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