Wehr Nature Center
Explore over five miles of nature trails through woodland, wetland, prairie and oak savanna on 220 acres of protected land in Whitnall Park.
Just outside the Visitor Center you’ll discover labeled gardens featuring prairie, woodland and other plant varieties; a natural play space for kids with a log cabin playhouse; and an accessible deck over Mallard Lake. Wehr Nature Center also hosts nature-themed educational programming and special events year round.
The Visitor Center is currently open with LIMITED CAPACITY due to COVID-19. Access is available to only restrooms and the front desk at this time. Masks are required indoors. We look forward to a time when you can again step inside Wehr Nature Center's Visitor Center to meet our resident reptiles, see an indoor beehive and active aquaponics displays, and find a range of nature-themed books, gifts and toys in our shop. While the gift shop is closed, you can still support Wehr through the Friends of Wehr Online Store.
Entry to the nature center is free. Parking is $4 per vehicle.
Visitor Center: Open with LIMITED CAPACITY. Access to only restrooms and front desk. Masks required indoors.
Friday – Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wed & Thurs: CLOSED
Trails: Open dawn to dusk, daily, year round
Gate & Parking Lot: Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily
Explore Wehr Nature Center
Meet the Residents
Currently Not Available Due to COVID-19
Come inside the Visitor Center and speak to a naturalist to learn more about the wildlife that lives in the surrounding natural areas. Meet a few of our nature center resident reptiles in the Wildlife Room.
Our natural playground features climbing rocks, Carol's Cabin, logs and a native plant garden.
Hike the Trails
The hiking trail loops are organized by the type of natural community they pass through and are marked with color-coded wooden posts. Unmarked connector trails help to link these loops to each other and to other parts of Whitnall Park. Note: the trails at Wehr are for walkers only. No runners, cycling or dogs.
Download the Trail Map
Wehr Nature Center is on the banks of Mallard Lake, which also features an accessible boardwalk to the waters edge.
Annual Events at Wehr
Halloween Haunts – October
Follow a jack-o'-lantern trail into the Enchanted Forest for a kooky and slightly spooky look at nature's misunderstood creatures. You'll meet costumed characters — such as owls, frogs and skunks — that serve as your educational guides to nature.
Maple Sugar Days – March (TBD)
Celebrate the spring thaw and our Wisconsin heritage at Maple Sugar Days. The program includes a short walk to the sugarbush, a visit to an old-time sugarin’ camp, a boil-down demonstration and hands-on activities for children. Maple tapping workshops are also held in March.
Bat Night – June
Be a part of Bat Central in Whitnall Park. Join us for an exciting hour of bat exploration and discover facts about these misunderstood creatures of the night. Using the latest technology, you’ll hear the ultrasonic echolocation of bats. The detector combines a system for recording the bat calls and a global positioning system. You can also discover interesting facts and information on how you can protect bats through participation in Citizen Science Monitoring.
Bug Day – September
Explore the wonderful world of invertebrates at Wehr Nature Center’s Bug Day celebration! Show, Tell and Touch displays include live invertebrates found throughout Wisconsin and across the globe.
Pop Up Nature – Multiple Dates
Want to explore nature with your children but don’t know how to get started? Stop in for a “pop-up” program with a nature expert to get your adventure on! There will be a naturalist-led activity at each session from 1-1:30, followed by self-guided activities you can enjoy with your family at your own pace. We provide the tools and know how, you supply the curiosity. Each program has a different theme, so make plans to join us all year!
Nature programing for children, groups and adults is held throughout the year. These programs encourage discovery and curiosity and help everyone build a personal connection to nature.
Summer camps for children ages 6 to 12 let children discover the natural world, make new friends and gain confidence as they learn new skills and take on outdoor adventures. Camps are led by professional naturalists who nurture each child’s natural sense of wonder.
Browse Upcoming Programs
Friends of Wehr
Friends of Wehr is a 501(c)3 dedicated to supporting the educational and interpretive efforts of Wehr Nature Center. The Volunteer Board of Directors works together with the nature center staff and volunteers to provide a place for all seasons and place for everyone.
As a Friends of Wehr member you’ll receive
- Free Parking
- Unlimited admission to the Nature Center
- 10% Nature Store Discount
- Quarterly Newsletter – Wehr Words
- Reduced Fees on Select Events/Programs
- Free Admission for Cider Sunday
- Advanced Registration for Halloween Haunts
Become a Member
Indoor and outdoor spaces are available to rent at Wehr Nature Center for everything from business meetings to weddings. To book call (414) 425-8550.
The Marilyn J. Gardner Room
Currently Unavailable Due to COVID-19
The Gardener Room in Wehr Nature Center overlooks Mallard Lake and surrounding natural areas. To expand your event, you may also rent the outdoor amphitheater. No alcoholic beverages may be brought into the Center. An additional parking fee also applies.
Available: Year round, 5–11 p.m., occasional daytime hours available
Rental Room Size: 50'x40'
Capacity: 100 banquet style or 110 theater style
Outdoor Amphitheater and Fire Pit
Currently Unavailable Due to COVID-19
The Wehr Nature Center amphitheater includes a small stage with fixed bench seating in a beautiful wooded setting. To expand your event, you may also rent the indoor Gardner Room. An additional parking fee also applies.
Take a Virtual Tour