Seven Ponds Nature Center encompasses nearly 500 acres of woodlands, wetlands, lakes, ponds, prairies, and fields. There are seven miles of trails for you to explore and enjoy. Please check-in at the nature center prior to venturing out on the trails. Our trails are open to guests Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and open to Seven Ponds members dawn to dusk, every day of the year.
CURRENT TRAIL CONDITIONS
May 22, 2019: Trails continue to be soggy in several places due to the amount of rain we've received this month, so appropriate footwear is suggested.
- Baltimore Orioles, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and plenty of warblers have arrived!
- A Mourning Cloak and a Red Admiral have been spotted in Earl's Prairie.
- Spring Wildflowers are emerging throughout the forest - particularly in the Woodland Wildflower Area.
- Skunk cabbage has opened up along the Miller Pond boardwalk, giving the forest floor its first coat of green.
- Tree swallows are nesting in most of the songbird nest boxes near the interpretive building and throughout the grounds.
- Two adult Bald Eagles were observed perched near Big Pond on May 4.
- Beavers have been very active near Treetop Pond, cutting many small trees down. Beavers are often seen at dusk by those willing to be very quiet on the A-frame bridge.
- Other mammals seen recently: whitetail deer, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, red squirrel, eastern chipmunk, woodchuck, eastern cottontail, raccoon, muskrat, mink, and opossum.
202 bird species have been observed at Seven Ponds! For recent sightings posted to eBird, click the eBird logo to the right.
Paul's Woods is a mature beech-maple forest bordering a swamp. The trail is a loop of approximately 1/2 mile, and includes a wide, flat trail through the forest and a winding boardwalk through the swamp, which borders Miller Pond. Get a close-up look at the beaver lodge on Treetop Pond, and check out Big Pond from the observation tower.
The North-80 is located on the north side of Crawford Road, and has an extensive trail network that winds through old fields, a wildlife orchard, young forests, and an old fence row. Two bridges cross the drain, and an observation deck gives you a panoramic view of the field and Waterfowl Pond. During spring and summer look for Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows using the nest boxes in the field.
Earl's Prairie is a nine-acre reconstructed tall grass prairie. Bordered by pine trees most of the way around, the prairie truly comes into its own during late summer, when the prairie flowers are blooming. Enjoy the wide-open sky and prairie view from the observation deck.
Located near the nature center and containing many ephemerals, the Woodland Wildflower Area is a wonderful place to visit in the spring. A wide variety of wildflowers and ferns await you in this enclosed area.
Jonathan Woods is located a few miles southwest of the nature center on Jonathan Road. This 150 acre preserve is mature hardwood forest that includes a large, leatherleaf bog and a cold water brook with a hemlock stand. Greatly affected by past glacial activity, the terrain here is rolling and hilly.
Along the Trail
Miller Pond Boardwalk
The 1/4 mile boardwalk winds along the shore of Treetop and Miller ponds, and provides access to an interesting swamp forest habitat, with cattails, skunk cabbage, and views of both ponds. A small platform at the north end overlooks an active beaver lodge.
Three raised observation platforms are located throughout the nature center grounds. In Paul's Woods, a platform overlooks Big Pond, the largest of the Seven Ponds. In the North-80, a platform overlooks Waterfowl Pond and the neighboring grassland. In Earl's Prairie, a platform provides a grand view of the entire nine-acre prairie.
This unique bridge spans the channel between Treetop Pond and Little Pond, and leads to Paul's Woods. It's a wonderful place to view wildlife, and is always worthy of a pause to enjoy the view. First constructed in 1968, it was rebuilt in the 1990s and again in 2011.
Located in the North-80, Waterfowl Pond is a small, shallow pond with plenty of cattail marsh, and is an excellent place to find ducks, herons, rails, muskrats, and other wildlife. An observation platform provides an overhead view. Water from this pond drains into the marsh of Long Pond.
Treetop Pond Teaching Platform
This dock is located at the base of the hill behind the nature center building, and provides an excellent view of Treetop Pond and the A-Frame Bridge. Check out the large beaver lodge visible across the pond, and look for signs of their activity in the woods around the dock.
These gardens are located in front of the Interpretive Building, and display numerous native trees and shrubs, demonstrating that you can landscape your own yard using native plant species.
Maintained by our Butterfly Gardeners volunteer group, the Butterfly Garden is located near the driveway loop. Its plants provide nectar for butterflies and other insects, and serve as hosts for butterfly larvae.
Maintained by our Friends of Herb volunteer group, the Herb Garden is located near the driveway loop. This garden displays plants used by our fore-bearers for food, medicine, potpourri, and dyes.