Things To Do

Planning a visit to Wood Lake Nature Center? There are so many fun and free things to do whether this is your first visit or hundredth visit, there are always new things to see!

Wood Lake Nature Center:
The Wood Lake Nature Center building is open to the public (Monday-Saturday, 8:30-5 pm and Sunday,  12-5 pm) year-round, and it is free to park and walk the trails. Inside the building there are live animals: turtles, snakes, salamanders, and fish! The Museum Room is full of fun and interactive interpretive displays including Forest and Marsh scenes of animals frequently found at Wood Lake Nature Center. The Marsh display also has a large, hollow tree for kids to crawl inside and discover who lives there. In addition, the Museum Room includes an interactive microscope, taxidermy mounts, bird viewing corner, touch-and-feel tables with natural history artifacts, and a fun preschool corner with books, puppets, blocks, and more! Check out the photo gallery for a virtual tour to help plan your visit. 

Walking Trails:

Wood Lake has over two miles of crushed limestone walking trails (stroller and wheelchair accessible), floating boardwalk, viewing benches along the trails, viewing docks, two outdoor amphitheaters, a nature play area, and a picnic pavilion. In the winter, the walking trails are packed and groomed for snowshoeing and tracked for cross-country skiing (weather/snow-permitting).  See Wood Lake's trail map for distances and more information.  The trails wind through three different habitats: cattail marsh, mixed lowland forest, and restored prairie.  

Birding and Wildlife Viewing:

For a list of birds you may see at Wood Lake, refer to our birding brochure. Common wildlife spotted at Wood Lake include:

  • Reptiles: Painted and Snapping turtles, Garter snake
  • Mammals: Muskrat, Coyote, Deer, Fox, Racoon, Squirrel, Chipmunk, Cottontail rabbit, Mice, Voles, Moles
  • Fish: Goldfish (invasive), Black Bullheads, Minnows
*Please do not remove any wildlife or plants from the park.

Self-guided Activities:kids binos