Boston Nature Center & Wildlife Sanctuary

Boy looking through binoculars on a winter trail at the Boston Nature Center

Located just outside of downtown Boston on the former grounds of the Boston State Hospital, the Boston Nature Center is a community-based urban sanctuary. Trails and boardwalks traverse meadows and wetlands, home to over 150 species of birds, 40 species of butterflies, and more than 350 species of plants. Year-round programs help foster an appreciation for nature and the environment. Please leave dogs and other pets at home.

Location500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Phone: 617-983-8500
Hours: Trails open daily, dawn to dusk • Restrooms open Mon-Fri 9am–5pm, Sat & Sun 10am–4pm

Plan your visit >

Winter Activities

Nature's Winter Wonders

Learn about winter animals, take a nature walk, or explore by snowshoe! Browse programs >

Online Programs - LP promo for sanctuaries

Online Programs

Fox Sparrow in winter at Boston Nature Center
Fox Sparrow

Explore nature with us online, from winter birds to wildlife tracking. Coming up next >

Healing Landscape

A Healing Landscape cover

A Healing Landscape

Discover the stories of the people who have lived and worked on our land for 200+ years. Read it > 

Nature Preschool (text only)

Acorn icon

Nature Preschool

At BNC, our Pathways to Nature preschool provides a high-quality nature program for children ages 3–6. Learn more >

Sanctuary News & Events

More News

Upcoming Programs

January 22, 2022 (Saturday) 10:30am-12:00pm
Join us as we learn why all snowflakes are unique and discover how the properties of snow help animals survive in the winter.... Read more
February 5, 2022 (Saturday) 10:30am-12:00pm
Learn how to track animals in the wild while exploring our trails. Read more
View Full Schedule