Families can experience a world of adventure at Glen Helen

With towering moss-covered cliffs, serene waterfalls and more than 20 miles of picturesque trails, Glen Helen is an ideal place to take a hike, but the Yellow Springs gem has much more to offer.

The 1000-acre private preserve hosts a wide variety of educational public programs and events, residential environmental education programs and houses a raptor rehabilitation center. It’s open to the public from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. And a few evening events with astronomer Davin Flateau even lets you experience Glen Helen under the stars.

There really is something for outdoor adventurers of all ages at Glen Helen.

“We strive for multigenerational experiences,” said Tina Spencer, Glen Helen project manager. “It’s great to see three generations – sometimes four – going on hikes or participating in one of our events.”

Visitors to the Glen can even hire a naturalist for a private hike.

“Whatever your interest is, they can specialize the hike,” Spencer said. “It’s a very personalized experience.”

From a spontaneous weekend trip with the family to a structured summer program for the kids, Glen Helen has a wide variety of educational and informative offerings.

The Trailside Museum

With a variety of hands-on displays and exhibits, it’s easy to get up close with nature at the Trailside Museum. Visitors can meet the resident ambassador animals, check out the trail map, and purchase Glen Helen gear in the museum that serves as the weekend welcome center for Glen Helen Nature Preserve. It’s an ideal starting point before heading out onto the trails and it’s also the starting place for many of the family and adult programs.

Outdoor Education Center

For more than half a century, Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center has been providing programs for both children and adults to increase their appreciation of the natural world and create an awareness of environmental problems and the ecological principles that influence them. Programs like the Outdoor School and Summer EcoCamp are also designed to help students develop improved self-concepts and refine their interpersonal relationship skills.

Raptor Center

The Raptor Center’s mission is to improve the welfare of raptors across Ohio through educating the public about birds of prey, wildlife and conservation issues, and through the rehabilitation of injured raptors across Southwestern Ohio. The Glen Helen Raptor Center – which was established in 1970 – is part of the Glen Helen Ecology Institute. The Raptor Center, which hosts regular events, operates two core programs – education about raptors and their role in Ohio ecosystems, and rehabilitation of injured raptors with the goal of release back to the wild.

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