Westwood Hills Nature Center

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Westwood Hills Nature Center Logo8300 W. Franklin Ave.
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Click for directions

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, fox, mink and owls. Westwood naturalists conduct year-round programs to increase visitor understanding and appreciation of our natural world. The nature center is located just south of I-394 and east of Highway 169. Parking and admission are free. Wood chipped, boardwalks and hard surface accessible trails are open from dawn to dusk year-round. 

Take a peek at what you'll see at the Nature Center


Visit our website, WestwoodHillsNatureCenter.org, to check out our programs. Register online at webtrac.stlouispark.org.

Park & Trail Hours

Nature Center trails and playground are open every day from sunrise to sunset, year-round.

Interpretive Center Building Hours

  • Year-Round
  • Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Noon - 5 p.m.

The Interpretive Center will be closed on the remaining dates in 2017: October 22, November 10, 23-26, December 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.

Facility Rentals

Birthday Parties
Birthday parties at Westwood Hills Nature Center include a one-hour program led by one of our naturalists and another hour for gifts and food in a private room for up to 12 children (extra fee and approval required for additional children). Children will meet a live animal, hike outdoors and then celebrate in the party room. You bring the treats, paperware and presents. Recommended for ages 4 and up. For reservations, call 952.924.2544.

  • Reservations accepted for Saturdays and Sundays through November
  • $98 per party (resident) / $108 (non-resident)

Waterfall Observation Deck
Looking for a scenic location for a small wedding, photo shoot or outdoor meeting space? Enjoy watching the water flow over the top of the 6-foot high waterfall. From the accessible observation deck you can see the waterfall, water garden, Westwood Lake and surrounding woods. This is an ideal location for small events for up to 20 – 25 people. Rent separately or consider adding this option to your Outdoor Water Garden rental. For more information or to make a reservation, call 952.924.2544.

  • Available through September
  • $50 per hour (resident) / $75 (non-resident)
  • $100 refundable damage deposit

Outdoor Water Garden
The Westwood water garden is another exclusive and scenic location to add to your wedding, event or photo shoot. This water garden features over 100 native Minnesota plants blooming throughout the summer season, as well as streams, waterfalls and a pond with native Minnesota fish. Stroll along the accessible crushed rock paths and gaze into the pond. Enjoy rock bench areas perfect for taking photos or relaxing. Rent separately or add this option to your Waterfall Observation Deck rental. For reservations call 952.924.2544.

  • Available through September
  • $100 per hour (resident) / $150 (non-resident)
  • $100 refundable damage deposit

Picnic Pavilion
Located near the playground, this pavilion has an open design which seats up to 25 people. Windows on three sides of this fully accessible building offer beautiful views of the Nature Center grounds and the state-of the-art playground. The building also features restrooms and drinking fountains. It's a great place for meetings or parties. For reservations call 952.924.2544.

  • Available through September
  • Holidays: Pavilion cannot be reserved on Memorial Day weekend, July 4 or Labor Day weekend
  • $55 per hour (resident) / $65 per hour (non-resident)
  • Two-hour minimum
  • $300 damage deposit

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