kids looking at a map

New Visitors

What to Know | Before you Arrive | During your Visit | Video - New to Hiking

Visiting your local open space preserves provide a natural arena for a wide variety of fun and exciting outdoor activities. To help you get the most of your experience, please make note of the following:

  • Preserves are open dawn to 30 minutes after sunset. If you want to experience the preserves at night, we periodically offer guided night hikes - check the calendar for upcoming activities.
  • There are no fees for entry or parking. 
  • Parking spaces may not be available during peak visitation. Many preserves are popular during certain months of the year, times of the day and holiday weekends. Please only park in authorized spots. 
  • Bring plenty of water for you, your guests and your pets. Water is not available.
  • Restrooms are available at some preserves, but not all.
  • There are no trash cans, and it is the responsibility of visitors to pack-it-in, pack-it-out.
  • Find a Preserve helps you choose an outing by preserve name, location, activity or use.
  • Once you've decided where you're headed, check out the preserve’s webpage. You'll find suggested hikes, historical info, maps, directions and more. 
  • If you plan to visit with children, learn more about our kid-friendly activities.
  • Bringing your dog along? While many preserves and trails allow dogs on leashes, some do not. You can find specific dog access information here or on a preserve webpage. 
  • Groups of 20 or more visitors are allowed with a permit. More information about obtaining a special use permit is available here.

Before You Arrive

  • Download a map from our preserve pages before leaving home or use a smartphone app to bring a digital map along on your adventures.
  • We want all of our visitors to enjoy their adventure. Please familiarize yourself with our policies and regulations before you arrive.
  • Keep in mind there is no charge to join our expert-led activities, so browse our calendar.
  • If you want to observe wildlife, bring binoculars and consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the animals are more active.
  • Interested in photography? Bring your camera to capture the sights and sounds, plus a few family memories! Keep an eye out for our annual photo contest and share your photos with us!

During Your Visit

  • Trail maps are available for free and can be found at information boards in the preserve parking area or main trailhead. Help us recycle and return trail maps to the information board when you leave. You can also download a trail map for many of our properties here
  • While in the preserves, keep an eye out for our Rangers. They are always happy to share interesting information about the preserves.
  • Keep your eyes and ears never know what you might experience. While you might not always see wildlife, you can always find signs of their presence - nests, tracks, rubbings and scat.
  • Be respectful of wild animals and keep your distance. The animals you may encounter are not captive in a zoo — these animals are in their natural habitat and behave accordingly.

New to Hiking?

If you’re new to hiking on our preserves, it can be daunting when you’re not sure what to bring with you. As a new or aspiring day hiker, there are a few things you need to know before hitting the trail… Watch our new video for tips on getting started and making any adventure go smoothly!

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