About the museum
Established in 1937, the Trailside Nature Museum is one of the oldest museums of its kind in the United States. It is home to a large collection of mounted animals, Native American artifacts, educational exhibits, child-friendly interactive displays, and nature-oriented artwork.
The Trailside Nature Museum is also the home of the Delaware Indian Research Center, a vast collection of books and artifacts concerning Native Americans, especially the Delaware. The Research Center is well utilized by both students and educators and has assisted several authors in researching their publications. The Research Center is open to the public by appointment.
Be sure to go butterflying in the meadow, which attracts parades of butterflies. The brochure Butterflies of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation lists 83 species that have been seen on the grounds.
The museum is typically open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM and closed Sundays and Mondays. During the summer, end of June through August, the museum is open Monday through Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM and closed on the weekends.
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Programs At Trailside Museum
We offer many different programs for school groups, scout groups and the public. Below are just a few of the programs we offer. If you are interested in learning more, please visit our Upcoming Events page or call the museum directly at (914) 864-7322.
Eastern Woodland Native Americans
Learn about the Lenape way of life and how these local Woodland Indians lived during the period of first contact with the European settlers. Staff naturalists will discuss and demonstrate the three key aspects of Lenape life: the hunting, gathering, and farming of food sources; the use of stone, wood, bone and other natural materials for tool manufacturing; and the games and toys and leisure activities of the Lenape people. Experience village life in the Museum's traditional wigwam.
Take part in one of the oldest industries in America, maple sugaring. At one time, maple sugar production surpassed that of cane sugar in the United States. This program, available only in February and March, details the basics of maple syrup production. Participants will tap a tree, bring sap to the sugar house, and observe the boiling process of turning the sap into nature's sweet reward - delicious maple syrup!
Trailside Nature Center's award-winning Children's Summer Ecology Program, offered since 1983, allows students entering grades 1-9 to immerse themselves in the Reservation's amazing habitats and ecosystems while learning about our native ecology. Our enthusiastic counselors educate campers through games and activities as they hike through the many beautiful trails the Reservation has to offer.