Information on:

Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center

175 Shrub Road

Open Thursday through Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4. Admission is free and donations are encouraged. Located at 175 Shrub Road in Bristol, Connecticut, the original 40-acre parcel, purchased in 1969, and  where the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center now sits, was the first landholding of ELCCT.  The Nature Center was built in 1972 and additional property was acquired in 1974 increasing the property to its current 68 acres.

The original goal of the nature center, and one that continues today, was to be a community center where people of all ages learned about the importance of the natural world; a place that was open to the public on a regular basis with exhibits and activities facilitated by a knowledgeable cadre of staff and volunteers; a place that inspired conservation and the love of nature.

The nature center was recently updated with new exhibits and activities. View our extensive collection of reptiles and amphibians, meet Ruby the Red-tailed Hawk, try your hand at one of our many interactive exhibits and by all means, explore our trails!

The extensive network of trails are open dawn to dusk free of charge. There are loop hiking trails and a trail-head of the Tunxis “Blue” Trail for your hiking pleasure.


Stephanie Jaczko Robinson

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
This small museum has a few interesting exhibits, but some were messy or broken. The bird observation is cool and the trails are nice. Unless you're there for a program, don't expect to spend more than 30 minutes. It used to before, but now is $5 for adults and $3 for children. There are a few small animal exhibits, frogs and the like, and taxidermy pieces. Best to go in spring or summer when you can walk the trails, or attend an event.

Chet Sergey

Friday, Dec. 22, 2017
Great place for families to experience nature inside and outside. Live animals, walking trails, gift shop. Hands on activities for kids to explore natural things. See a bear, mountain lion, birds and many other mounts up close. Observe the many flying visitors at the bird watching window and more!

Amanda Hughes

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017
Great for children of all ages. Lots of hands on fun. Live and stuffed animals to view. Clean. There are nature trails (was not able to explore, weather permitting). Parking lot, wheelchair accessible, no changing table in restrooms. Free.

Holly Gonyea

Friday, March 30, 2018
Great Easter egg event. Fun for whole family

amadeusamadeus rm

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Our Daughter loved it, great displays, friendly lady up front, we will definitely be back.

Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media