Navigating Nature Centers in Oakland County

If you’d like to learn about the wilds surrounding your everyday life, you’ll love our map of nature centers in Oakland County. This interactive map, created by Oakland County’s award-winning GIS team, will lead you on a journey across the county, from center to center, helping you plan a trip to any one of these great locations to learn about the natural world. Sunshine or rain, summer or winter, these nature centers are there for you to help grow your pool of knowledge!


Heritage Park in Farmington Hills. Photo credit: Jonathan Schechter

Rural and Urban Learning Centers

Many of the nature centers in Oakland County are are nestled in the open arms of the beautiful Michigan woods, resting between chirping chipmunks and rustling leaves. Others are in well-kept downtown parks, where folks can easily access and learn about all kinds of natural knowledge.


The seasons of summer and spring blend together in an Oakland County forest. Photo credit: Jonathan Schechter

Such centers include the Farmington Hills Nature Center in Heritage Park, a reserve surrounded on all sides by suburbia, but containing thriving wildlife. Before you make your visit, you can read more about the park as a whole in the Let Nature Be Your Teacher on the Wilder Side of Heritage Park blog!

Animals Abound!

The creatures that live inside the boundless stretches of nature provide wonderful opportunities for learning. Many nature centers in Oakland County can satisfy your wildlife curiosity with special programs and tours that include detailed information on animal traits, habits, and habitats.


A cute thirteen-lined ground squirrel peers from a grassy hideout. Photo credit: Jonathan Schechter

For example, inside the Kensington Metropark Nature Center, visitors are able to view various, in-depth exhibits on the diverse wildlife of the park, ask park interpreters and professionals questions about the environment and the beings within it, and observe living animals such as a red-tailed hawk named Ranger. Before taking off to this park’s awesome nature center, learn about the park and all that waits within by reading the October Gold: Secrets of the Kensington Nature Center Trails blog!

The Pride of Parks and Recreation

Oakland County Parks and Recreation runs two amazing nature centers in the county: Independence Oaks Wint Nature Center and Red Oaks Nature Center. The former provides a plethora of hands-on natural history exhibits and colorful events, from insect safaris to stories of plant folklore. The latter is linked to multiple trails, houses a few native, living animals, and space for birthday parties, Scout gatherings, and more.

Wint Nature Center. Photo credit: Jonathan Schechter

Using the Map

For more information on any of the nature centers in Oakland County, visit our Things to Do page containing the interactive map and master list of all the beautiful locations! And remember: You can use this map on any electronic device, including your phone!


Do you know of any other nature centers in the Oakland County area? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, or contact us at

Jonathan Schechter is the Nature Education Writer and Photographer for Oakland County Government and blogs weekly about nature’s way, trails, and wildlife on the Wilder Side of Oakland County.

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2 thoughts on “Navigating Nature Centers in Oakland County

  1. It is my understanding that trapping or hunting coyotes in Rochester Hills is against the law. I see a number of companies in the area advertising that they will trap coyotes for residents. Cyotoes are needed to help control the deer population.

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