Minnesota Campus

12805 St. Croix Trail South, Hastings, MN 55033

Our Story

Nestled at the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers near Hastings, and located only thirty minutes from the metro, Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center (CNC) provides a unique opportunity to learn and explore the outdoors. There is no entrance fee to ensure people of all economic backgrounds can connect to nature.

Hiking trails wind throughout the tall pines, oak savanna, restored prairies, wooded ravines, the apple orchard, and along the river of the 425-acre Minnesota Campus. Our visitor center features world-class exhibits with live animals on display and raptor mews featuring a Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, Barred Owl, and Common Raven. There are over seven miles of hiking woodchipped trails and three and a half paved trails to accommodate persons with mobility limitations. You will see a variety of plant and animal communities during your visit year-round.

CNC plays a vital role in the hands-on education of nearly 10,000 K-12 students and up to 20,000 visitors annually. CNC’s dedicated staff shows students the importance of working in harmony with the natural world and gives them the science skills and experiences they need to begin to understand and solve our future global environmental problems. With property on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides of the scenic St. Croix River, we can preserve wildlife habitats while providing educational experiences for community families.

Eastern Bluebirds by Paul Blanchard

Come Visit Us

CNC’s Minnesota Campus is open 361 days a year. Located just five minutes from Prescott and 10 minutes from downtown Hastings, CNC is a birding and hiking oasis. Enjoy over 10 miles of paved and woodchipped trails. To view a trail map and plan your visit, please click HERE.

 Visitor Center, Interpretive Building, parking lots, and trails are open from

*8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter

12805 St. Croix Trail South, Hastings, MN 55033

For more information, please call 651-437-4359

*Hours will vary during our apple season. To find out when the Apple Shack is open, please click  HERE.