We encourage you to reserve your timed tickets in advance. Plan your visit today!
The museum is closing early November 23 at 3 p.m. and is closed on Thanksgiving, November 24.

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

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 ...

Science and Nature Lecture
with Pat McShea

December 18, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Winter Wildlife Every spring in western Pennsylvania, a dawn chorus announces the return of brightly...

Game Night at Powdermill Nature Reserve

March 18, 2023, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Learn and play the award-winning game Wingspan. Bird enthusiasts and board gamers love the game, whi...

Game Night at Powdermill Nature Reserve

March 31, 2023, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Learn and play the award-winning game Wingspan. Bird enthusiasts and board gamers love the game, whi...

Woodcock Walk at Powdermill Nature Reserve

April 1, 2023, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
What makes that noise that sounds like “Peent” in the night? Woodcocks! Join us as we tr...

Game Night at Powdermill Nature Reserve

April 5, 2023, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Learn and play the award-winning game Wingspan. Bird enthusiasts and board gamers love the game, whi...

Woodcock Walk at Powdermill Nature Reserve

April 7, 2023, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
What makes that noise that sounds like “Peent” in the night? Woodcocks! Join us as we tr...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

April 8, 2023, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our Open House days are FREE behind-the-scenes experiences for people to visit the bird banding lab ...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Free Guided Tour

April 12, 2023, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

April 15, 2023, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our Open House days are FREE behind-the-scenes experiences for people to visit the bird banding lab ...

Guided Bird Walk

April 16, 2023, 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

April 21, 2023, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Guided Bird Walk

April 25, 2023, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Join us for one of our guided Bird Walks to explore the trails at Powdermill Nature Reserve and lear...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

April 29, 2023, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our Open House days are FREE behind-the-scenes experiences for people to visit the bird banding lab ...

Guided Bird Walk

May 3, 2023, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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

May 6, 2023, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Guided Bird Walk

May 7, 2023, 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...

Guided Bird Walk

May 10, 2023, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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 and Bird Walk

May 13, 2023, 8:00 am - 10:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Free Guided Tour

May 17, 2023, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) offers FREE guided tours of the bird banding lab and researc...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

May 20, 2023, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our Open House days are FREE behind-the-scenes experiences for people to visit the bird banding lab ...

Guided Bird Walk at Donegal Lake

May 26, 2023, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Join us for an offsite Guided Bird Walk at Donegal Lake! We will meet as a group at Lake Access #1 o...

Powdermill Avian Research Center Open House

May 27, 2023, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our Open House days are FREE behind-the-scenes experiences for people to visit the bird banding lab ...
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.

Powdermill Nature Reserve Logo