North Branch Nature Center bug watch
North Branch Nature Center bug watch
North Branch Nature Center river
North Branch Nature Center kids
North Branch Nature Center building
North Branch Nature Center beaver
North Branch Nature Center beaver

NBNC’s 28 acres of fields, woods, and river offers opportunities for all ages to play, learn, and explore in nature!


Visit our calendar to explore upcoming offerings,
from art gallery openings, to afterschool programs,
to educators institutes, to family events and more.

Visit our calendar to explore upcoming offerings,
from art gallery openings, to afterschool programs,
to educators institutes, to family events and more.

Nature Programs

As Central Vermont’s hub for nature education, we offer expert presentations, field trips, and workshops to enrich your understanding of the natural world.


Our distinguished nature-based education programs immerse children in extraordinary learning environments with an acclaimed, innovative teaching team.


Our beautiful facility is popular to rent – inside, outside, or both – for meetings, classes, presentations, and family celebrations.

Comm Sci

From amphibians to Saw-whet Owls, North Branch Nature Center studies and protects local wildlife with the support of passionate volunteer scientists.


Please support NBNC by becoming a member, volunteering, and/or making a financial gift to help us connect even more people with the natural world!

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Connecting People with the Natural World

North Branch Nature Center connects people with environmental education, natural history, and community science. More than 10,000 people visit NBNC to be in touch with the sights, sounds, and sensations of the natural world.

Our 28-acre preserve of forest and fields is nestled in a gentle bend of the North Branch of the Winooski River, just two miles from downtown Montpelier. NBNC is the delight in the eyes of children as they watch fireflies in a field.  NBNC is a group of naturalists exploring the secrets of warblers and willows. And it's a quiet place to walk or ski, swim or sit, or simply relax beside the river. There is much to explore. Please join us.


NBNC News Watch

Summer 2024 Educator Institutes Open!

Join us this summer for a weeklong, nature-based educator immersion! From naturalist skills, to building safe outdoor classrooms, to teaching NGSS and Proficiency-Based Learning frameworks outdoors, we've got offerings for educators PreK-12th grade! More Information.

Winter Homeschool and Afterschool at NBNC

NBNC offers a lifetime of learning and growth through deepened connections with the environment. Our afterschool Trekkers and Explorers programs offer a great way for kids to unwind after school. And our full-day Homeschool program offers 6-12-year-olds a lasting relationship learning in and with nature. Fall registration for both programs opens August 14. More Information

Travel the World with NBNC in 2024

Our Adventures Afar will bring you to the planet's most enchanting places to encounter a dazzling diversity of birdlife. Travel with us to Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, South Africa, Northern Canada, and other incredible destinations. Learn more.

New Trailhead and Universal Access Trail

Come visit our new timber-framed trailhead pavilion, and enjoy the 1/3-mile crushed stone accessible trail looping around the meadows and Community Garden. Join us on September 30 at 11 am for a grand opening of the whole, refreshed trail system!

Robins Nest

Our Land Acknowledgement

North Branch Nature Center acknowledges that we reside upon the traditional and unceded home of the Western Abenaki People. These lands and waters have been a site of meeting and exchange among Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years. North Branch Nature Center honors, recognizes and respects the Abenaki as the traditional stewards of this landscape. We strive to respect and protect this land, while continually honoring the legacy of Vermont’s Indigenous People, the Abenaki People of the Dawn.

NBNC's Land Acknowledgement is a first step in our work to recognize  the imperative of diversity and equity in our community. This statement is the beginning of a conversation to address and honor the Indigenous Peoples who lived on this land for hundreds of generations. 

Vermont’s Abenaki Bands

Each of Vermont’s Abenaki communities hosts a rich website full of information on the tribe history, traditions, language, stories, governance, education, events, and much more.

Elnu Abenaki Tribe: Elnu is an Abenaki Tribe based in Southern Vermont. We work to continue our cultural heritage through historical research, lectures and school programs, oral storytelling, singing, dancing and traditional craft making. Our primary focus is ensuring that our traditions carry on to our children. We are traditionalists trying to maintain our culture in a modern society. Learning from the past creates a better future for all.

Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe: The mission of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation is to strengthen our government; to build our community, and ensure sustainability; to protect our customs and traditions; and to revive our culture and celebrate our heritage while sharing it with those around us. N’dakinna (our homeland) is nestled among the lakes, rivers, and forests of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Our connection to this land cannot be described in any language. It is our birthright and obligation to advocate for our ancestral territory so that its uniqueness and beauty will be protected for the generations to come.

Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation: The Koasek Abenaki is an autonomous band of Abenaki families of what is now called the Western Abenaki Tribes, which have been recognized by the State of Vermont. The Koasek Abenaki people are the native inhabitants of central and northwest New Hampshire and northeast and central Vermont.

Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi: The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi is a Native American Tribe and First Nation located in Swanton, Vermont. The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi mission is to engage in efforts which will promote and sustain a strong, healthy, and united community for the members of the Abenaki Nation. It is further our purpose to improve the quality of life for the tribal members we serve by identifying, addressing, and working to decrease gaps in service and treatment across the spectrum of health, human, and social services.

Robins Nest

The River's Edge Blog

The Nature of Snowshoes Hares and Climate Change

By Chelsea Clarke Sawyer, Communications Coordinator In my 15 years living in Northern New England, I’ve never seen a Snowshoe ...
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In Search of Vermont’s Fungi

By Dave Muska, Teacher-Naturalist It’s   warm late summer’s day and fields are abuzz with the gentle call of crickets and ...
Read More

Lessons from a Floodplain Forest

By Sean Beckett, Program Director On a winter night in January, Montpelier threw a film festival about living with rivers. ...
Read More
Robins Nest

More about North Branch Nature Center

Robins Nest

Connecting People with the Natural World

North Branch Nature Center

713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602
(802) 229-6206

Hours: Center Open Monday-Friday 9-4
Trails Open 24/7