The Nature Center is a 20 acre green space located within a section of the Shaker Parklands that includes gardens and natural habitats -- such as a lake, stream, marsh, field, ravine and forest. To experience these fascinating habitats, take a walk along one of our two beautiful trails offering scenic views of our conserved space in the heart of historic Shaker Heights. Click here to view our hours and to find directions to visit us.
*Dogs are not permitted on our trails.
SQUARE FEET OF LAND
MAPPED NATURAL HABITATS
FEET OF ACCESSIBLE TRAIL
YEARLY VISITORS ON THE TRAILS
GARDENS FOR NATIVE PLANTS AND INSECTS
The Stearns Trail
This trail is mostly dirt and gravel that begins at the Nature Center's Rusty Knight Woodland Garden. It can also be accessed by the stairs at the Lavelle Family Amphitheater and from the left side of the parking lot. The trail winds through the forest along the Doan Brook. Run or walk among the trees, stop at two-tree square, take a rest to look and listen for birds or take the upper rim trail near the Prairie to spot a butterfly. Features along the trail include a marsh observation deck, a brook observation deck and a brook-side trail.
The All People's Trail
This award-winning trail (APT) is a railed, elevated boardwalk which offers 1/3 mile of access to nature for people with physical abilities. It wraps through the forest, over the Doan Brook and overlooks our signature marsh and Lower Shaker Lake. The marsh is a beauty in all seasons but in the height of summer you will be overwhelmed with the picturesque splendor of the large native blooms. A stepped trail connects the APT to foot and bike trails leading to the Shaker Parklands.
EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OFNATURAL HABITATS
ALONG THE ALL PEOPLE'S TRAIL
In addition to our two trails, our land is a haven for native plants and wildlife. We have multiple gardens throughout our 20 acres that can be seen when entering either trail. The Rusty Knight Woodland Garden, located behind the Visitor's Center has plant identifiers to help you learn more about the species of native plants that grow there. In a section near the backside of the parking lot, you'll find our Pollinator Garden, full of plant species that produce nectar for our important pollinator friends. Near the Friends Pavilion, you'll find our Permaculture Garden, which is a sustainable garden used a native cultivator, and the Rain Garden directly in front of the pavilion where you can often view Monarch butterflies in summer.
WHY VISIT US?
The opportunities to learn from and connect with nature within our 20 acres are boundless. While walking on our trails, you may see deer, a mink or migratory birds. In spring, you can witness the plants awakening from their winter slumber. In summer, you can experience native flowers in full bloom, watching Monarch butterflies floating gracefully through the air. In fall, you can bring the family for a leaf walk, observing the autumnal tones of the 35+ tree species on our land. The winter season allows for birders of all levels to observe the many species that can be seen here. No matter the season, there is always something new to discover.
DESIGNATED A NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LANDMARK BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
NUMBER 23 OF THE CLEVELAND AREA LOOP OF THE LAKE ERIE BIRDING TRAIL, WE'RE NOTED FOR THE NUMBER OF SPECIES THAT CAN BE SEEN HERE
DESIGNATED AN IMPORTANT BIRD AREA BY THE NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
KNOWN FOR OUR DIVERSE HABITATS AND THE WILDLIFE THAT LIVE WITHIN THESE HABITATS, WE HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED BY BIRDLIFE AS AN IMPORTANT BIRD AREA