Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center

Located at 175 Shrub Road, Bristol, Connecticut, the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center serves as Bristol’s public nature center. The original 40-acre parcel, purchased in 1969, and where the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center now sits, was the first landholding of ELCCT.

The Nature Center was built in 1972 and additional property was acquired in 1974, increasing the property to its current 68 acres.

The original goal of the nature center, and one that continues today, was to be a community center where people of all ages learned about the importance of the natural world. It’s a community space that is open to the public on a regular basis with exhibits and activities facilitated by a knowledgeable cadre of staff and volunteers; and a place that inspired conservation and the love of nature.

While visiting the Barnes Nature Center you can be sure to visit with and learn the natural history of many reptile, amphibian, and bird of prey species on exhibit. We’d love to host your next birthday party or special event, too! The BNC also offers private and public education programs.


Saturdays 10:00am to 4:00pm

Sundays 12:00pm to 4:00pm

The BNC trails are open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset, free of charge.


Children (12 & Under): $3/child

Adults: $5/adult

Seniors (65+): $3/adult


The trails at the Barnes Nature Center are open 7 days a week, dawn to dusk, and free of charge! The trails vary in lengths and terrain and wind through a number of different habitats for your enjoyment. from Leashed dogs are allowed. Please pick up after your pets.

Download a colored map of the trails here. 

You may also enjoy an aerial map or a topographic map.

Featured Items from the Barnes Nature Center Gift Shop

The Farm at Indian Rock Nature Preserve provides a steady supply of delicious, farm fresh eggs. We keep a variety of chicken breeds that lay white, brown and green/blue tinted eggs! The flock of sheep at the farm is sheared once a year and provide wool that is made into scarves and blankets. Wool products are limited and go fast, but we do have a few scarves left!
Beeswax Candles from Stonewall Apiary in Hanover, Connecticut, Pure Maple Syrup and Candies from LaMothe’s Sugarhouse in Burlington, Connecticut and local artisans jewelry and crafts. Come on down and see what’s new!
We sell a variety of bird, tree, wild flower, insect and reptile guides focused on our geographical area as well as thought provoking books, CD guides and more!