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Westwood Hills Nature Center

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Update (May 14, 2020): The Rec Center, ROC and Westwood Hills Nature Center interpretive building will be closed to the public until further notice. The closures include all rentals and programs scheduled at these facilities during this time period. Trails and outdoor areas at Westwood Hills Nature Center remain open to visitors. These closures are to help protect the health and wellness of the St. Louis Park community due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For questions call 952.924.2540.

Parking lot closed during constructionWestwood Hills Nature Center Logo

Onsite parking is not available due to construction of the new Westwood Hills Nature Center interpretive center. Street parking is available on West Franklin Avenue. There are alternative access points located at gate 7 and gate 8, located on Virginia Avenue and Westwood Hills Drive. View the alternate entrances map for additional details.

Visit the new interpretive center webpage to learn more about construction of the new nature center.

Westwood Hills Nature Center interpretive center grand opening

The grand opening has been postponed to Sunday, Sept. 13. Check back for more details come closer to the event. The building may open to the public sooner than the grand opening.

Westwood Hills Nature Center

Westwood Hills Nature Center is a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie. The preserve is beautiful throughout the seasons and provides homes for many animals, including deer, turtles, fox, mink and owls.

Create your own story by journeying through the preserve and experiencing a rare peek at nature in the city. Take a look at what you'll see at Westwood Hills Nature Center

Admission and parking 

Parking and admission are free.

Trail map

Westwood Hills Nature Center trail map

Note: During construction of the new interpretive center, the parking lot and play area will be closed.

Programs and activities

Westwood naturalists conduct year-round programs and activities to increase visitor understanding and appreciation of our natural world. Learn more about the current programs, camps and activities offered through the center.

Online program registration is available.


Nature center trails are open every day from sunrise to sunset, year-round. (The playground area is temporarily closed due to construction of the new Westwood Hills Nature Center interpretive center.)

The Interpretive Center building is open year-round during the following times, except for holidays and dates listed below.

  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, noon - 5 p.m.
Interpretive center closed dates

In 2020, the interpretive center building will be closed: Jan. 1 and 20, Feb. 17, April 12, May 23 - 25, July 3 and 4, Sept. 5 - 7, Oct. 18, Nov. 11, Nov. 26 - 29 and Dec. 25.

Prohibited activities

In order to maintain Westwood's natural habitats, the following are not allowed:

  • Dogs and other pets
  • Picking or collecting any plant or animal, including wildflowers
  • Feeding wildlife
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bicycle riding on trails
  • Releasing/relocating any wild animal

Natural resources management plan

In December 2017, the city and its partners finalized its natural resources management plan for Westwood Hills Nature Center (WHNC). The multi-year plan aims to identify opportunities for restoring and managing the habitats/ecosystems at WHNC.

Currently, the city is in the middle of removing buckthorn and low-grade trees – Phase III of the plan – to help manage invasive species at WHNC. Learn more about the removal efforts and plan.

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8300 W. Franklin Ave.
St. Louis Park, MN 55426