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“Great Nature Center”

Houston Nature Center
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Alice, a real live Great Horn Owl, works at the Houston Nature Center. There are lots of animals feathers and furs for the kids to touch and feel. Cool place.

Thank Janice V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 16 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2013

Karla is an expert naturalist and her owl, Alice is a great attraction. Interesting displays and free camping are a plus it being right on the Trailhead for the Root River rails to trails program! Must See.

Thank Valerie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2013

The Houston Nature Center never fails to impress me...and the local Houston community's support of the Houston Nature Center is also impressive. This nature center serves as a trailhead for the eastern most stop on the Root River Trail, but also has great exhibits, a small library & gift shop, a meeting room all managed by an exceptional director and their famous ambassador--Alice, the Great Horned Owl.

As a trailhead for bikers, there are clean bathrooms and showers. You can get local firewood and camp onsite. They are now building a wonderful natural playground that has creative features that both kids and adults will enjoy the learning opportunities that it will provide.

The Nature Center's director, Karla Bloem, is a dynamic woman who makes great things happen! She has spearheaded the development of this nature center and the new natural playground and has brought international recognition of Houston, MN by hosting a WONDERFUL owl festival the first weekend of March. Alice, the resident Great Horned Owl, who lives with Karla and husband is also on duty at the Nature Center and it is a joy to see her.

Even though we live 2 hours away in Iowa, we have been supporting the Houston Nature center since it has opened and it is hard not to get caught up in the great programming. To see how much this community supports their nature center, speaks volumes. I believe that almost everyone in Houston helps with the international owl festival. When so many small towns are struggling, the Houston Nature Center and its ardent supporters show how an enduring commitment to preserving the beauty and spirit of rural Minnesota can make a difference.

2  Thank WomanOfthePlains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2012

I visited here last week with a biking tour group after biking to the end of the trail. This nature center is conveniently located at the trailhead. We had a planned lunch stop on the Nature Center property and afterwards a presentation by the on-site naturalist Karla who was accompanied with Alice the Owl. Karla did a wonderful presentation on Great Horned owls, specifically her research on their vocalization patterns and habits. There were audio and webcam recordings on owl behavior. It was all very fascinating and Karla is a very enthusiastic speaker. During the presentation which lasted probably more than an hour, Alice sat calmly on her perch in the room. Every year the Center and little town of Houston host an International Owl Festival which is attended by people the world over. There are awards given out to important owls throughout the world as well as people making a difference in the world of owls. All of this was explained to us by Karla. There are a few exhibits at the Center regarding owls and other birds. I did not spend much time looking at the exhibits or items for sale due to time constraints. Outside the center are a series of fun sculptures on view, some made from bicycle parts. There are a variety of nature programs offered here for families although I did not check on them due to just visiting in this area. All in all, a worthwhile, unique and educational stop.

3  Thank MSWMom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2012

Such a beautiful area with an informative nature center and campground at the HoustonTrail Head of the Root River Trail . Shower facilities for bicyclists. A very well educated naturalist is there to teach and answer questions. The bicycle inspired sculptures are amazing.

1  Thank ILBoomerTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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