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 >

Hike-a-thon sanctuary LP promo

Hike-a-thon 2021

Celebrate the joys of hiking this November with free guided hikes, a drawing, and more! Join in >

Online Programs - LP promo for sanctuaries

Online Programs

Eastern Chipmunk with a dried leaf in its mouth in autumn © Suzanne Hirschman
Eastern Chipmunk © Suzanne Hirschman

Explore the nature of fall online, from migration to misunderstood wildlife. 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)

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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

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Upcoming Programs

January 15, 2022 (Saturday) 10:30am-12:00pm
Winter snow creates a canvas that paints a picture of animal activity. We will follow these signs to learn about how animals s... Read more
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