Houston Nature Center

Welcome to the Houston Nature Center, Houston’s trailhead for the Root River Trail.  Thanks to our free showers, clean restrooms, native plantings, recycled bicycle art, and vehicle shuttle service, we’ve earned the reputation as the best trailhead in the state!

The Houston Nature Center is focused on local wildlife – things that are in the area, used to be here, or show up on occasion.  This includes a woolly mammoth tooth, an extinct giant bison skull, a gray wolf, an elk antler that was locally shed in the 1800s, and a mount of two white-tailed deer with locked antlers.

HNC Links

© Tri-County Record

© AB Sheldon

We also offer a variety of programs. During the summer you can take part in a free public program every Saturday at 7 PM from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Or you can schedule an owl program for your school or organization either at the Nature Center or at your facility.

  1. (507)896-HOOT


Thanks to the Houston Lions, we have a bandshell that is used for outdoor programs, concerts, movies, and even weddings.

Alice the Great Horned Owl is the undisputed star of the show as the only live animal.  Her popularity has led to a heavy emphasis on owls at the Center.  Because of her, Great Horned Owls are now protected under Minnesota state law, a vocal study is being conducted on her species, we hold an International Festival of Owls to celebrate her hatch-day, and we started a World Owl Hall of Fame.

© Johan de Jong