"Diverse" would be a great word to describe the trails and lay of the land at Richardson Nature Center and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve. The reserve encompasses 1,000 acres and Richardson Nature Center occupies 150 of these acres with natural areas including prairie, mature woods, ponds and indoor and outdoor exhibits.
There are four separate, hiking only nature trails, that vary from less than a mile to two miles long. These trails are turf/woodchip and accessible to a strong person in a "cross-country" wheelchair. The Oak Trail, Aspen Trail, Lake Trail and Prairie Trail, as their names suggest, all travel through quite diverse habitats. The trails include opportunities to explore ponds, view wildlife from an observation deck, follow a self-guided trail, watch wildlife management projects, bird watch and a large array of other outdoor recreation and natural world happenings. All trails become snowshoe/hiking trails in winter.
Richardson Nature Center offers many indoor and outdoor exhibits and activities. The walls of the nature center are filled with the colorful, interactive murals of artist Chris Tully. Exhibits include live raptors, amphibians and reptiles.
Activities vary with the seasons and include apple-cidering, maple syruping, deer watch, snowshoeing, monarch tagging, a huge variety of public programs and special events, and viewing windows overlooking a managed backyard area designed to bring wildlife up-close.
Richardson also offers programs to school groups. These programs are performance-based curricula with pre- and post-activities and teacher-led options. Students have direct experiences in an authentic setting where they develop a better understanding of the natural world. For school group information, contact nature center staff at 763/694-7676.
Richardson Nature Center
8737 E. Bush Lake Road
Bloomington, MN 55438