We encourage you to reserve your timed tickets in advance. Plan your visit today!

About Powdermill

Powdermill Nature Reserve is Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s environmental research center. Located 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Rector, Pennsylvania, Powdermill is a field station and laboratory where researchers do long-term studies of natural populations in western Pennsylvania. In addition to being positioned for Appalachian-specific studies in ornithology, ecology, invertebrate zoology, and botany, Powdermill is a great place to spend a fun-filled day outdoors with the family.

Explore the beautiful woodlands around Powdermill, or visit the nature center, which features exhibits that highlight local wildlife, an indoor stream, and a marsh machine that uses a living greenhouse to purify waste water.

Admission to Powdermill Nature Reserve is free.

Nature Center Hours

Winter Hours
Nov. 1 – Mar 31

Wednesday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Sunday: Noon–4:30 p.m.

Summer Hours
Apr 1 – Oct 31

Tuesday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Sunday: Noon–4:30 p.m.

Location

GPS Coordinates
+40.160    -79.272

Address         
Powdermill Nature Reserve
1795 Route 381
Rector, PA 15677

Phone
724.593.6105

Hiking & Trails
Trails are open dawn to dusk.

Events at Powdermill

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

October 1, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us for an Open House to celebrate the grand opening of our new bird banding laboratory! Open Ho...

Family Nature Walk at Powdermill

October 1, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Join us as we hit the trails for a guided nature walk! We’ll meet in the atrium of the Powdermill ...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

October 2, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us for an Open House to celebrate the grand opening of our new bird banding laboratory! Open Ho...

Guided Bird Walk

October 4, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Join us for one of our guided Bird Walks to explore the trails at Powdermill Nature Reserve and lear...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Free Guided Tour

October 7, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Game Night at Powdermill Nature Reserve

October 8, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Learn and play the award-winning game Wingspan. Bird enthusiasts and board gamers love the game, whi...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

October 12, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us for an Open House to celebrate the grand opening of our new bird banding laboratory! Powderm...

Guided Bird Walk at Donegal Lake

October 14, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Join us for an offsite Guided Bird Walk at Donegal Lake! We will meet as a group at Lake Access #1 o...

Science and Nature Lecture
with Amy Covell-Murthy, Collection Manager, Archaeology and Head of the Section of Anthropology

October 16, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Learn about the archaeology collection, its connection to local history, and how we care for cultura...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

October 20, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us for an Open House to celebrate the grand opening of our new bird banding laboratory! Powderm...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Free Guided Tour

October 28, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Family Nature Walk at Powdermill

November 5, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Join us as we hit the trails for a guided nature walk! We’ll meet in the atrium of the Powdermill ...

Owling at the Moon

November 5, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us for Owling at the Moon! We will have a bonfire, craft, owl pellet dissections and other acti...

Family Nature Walk at Powdermill

December 3, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Join us as we hit the trails for a guided nature walk! We’ll meet in the atrium of the Powdermill ...
taxidermy coyote

History

Powdermill Nature Reserve was established by Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 1956 to serve as a field station for research on natural populations. General and Mrs. Richard K. Mellon and Dr. and Mrs. Alan M. Scaife presented 1,160 acres of land located about 3 miles south of Rector, Pennsylvania, for the use of Carnegie Museum of Natural History which was named “Powdermill Nature Reserve, a Research Station of Carnegie Museum.” Over the next several years, acreage was added to Powdermill Nature Reserve, and it now offers more than 2,200 acres of woodlands, streams, fields, and ponds for research and educational programs. Powdermill is home to the museum’s GIS lab, avian research center, and a new nature center with ecological exhibits.

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