Wildlife abounds at Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall. The nature center was founded in 1959 with a focus on environmental education. Families are invited to learn about the surrounding ecology in Hudson Highlands, meet live animals, and gain firsthand knowledge about the natural wonders in their own backyard.
A curious visitor comes face to face with a local toad species.
The Wildlife Education Center is open year-round from Friday-Sunday. Here, visitors can take a look at the bi-annual exhibits. Current exhibits include Marvelous Moths!, which analyzes the differences between moths and butterflies and explains their life cycles, and The Living Hudson Exhibit, which looks at the plants native to the Hudson Estuary. Admission also grants visitors access to Meet the Animals at 1pm and 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The Education Center is home to 65 live animals from the area, including the Great Horned Owl, American crow, reptiles, and amphibians.
| Environmental Educator Megan Hoffman gives a hands-on lesson about maple sugaring to museum visitors.
The Outdoor Discovery Center is open from mid-April to mid-November on weekends and is home to five hiking trails. In honor of Earth Day each April, the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum hosts a Hike-A-Thon to celebrate our planet and benefit the museum. All ages of all hiking levels are welcome, and some of the trails are stroller-friendly.
Each Halloween, the nature museum hosts an I “Spy” Halloween Trail for families to visit a Creepy Crawlers Room and make a themed craft.
During the Animals and Nature Together Program, participants ages 2-4 with a parent or guardian learn about and meet live native animals through crafts, songs, movement, and stories.
Address: 120 Muser Drive, Cornwall (Outdoor Discovery Center); 25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson (Wildlife Education Center)
Directions: Approximately a 35-minute drive from New City.
Hours: Saturday-Sunday, 10am-4pm (Outdoor Discovery Visitors Center); Friday-Sunday, 12-4pm; program hours vary
Admission: $3; free for members and children younger than 3; program prices vary
For more information: Outdoor Discovery Center: 845-534-5506; Wildlife Education Center: 845-534-7781; hhnaturemuseum.org.
Main photo: Students participating in the museum’s Early Childhood Action in Nature—a project that offers free pre-K and kindergarten programs during the school year as part of the Nature Play grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services—excitedly enter Grasshopper Grove.
Photo by: Mike Adamovic