All visitors age 2 and above will be required to wear masks. Reserve your Timed Tickets today!

Nature Center Holiday Hours

Powdermill Nature Center will be closed Friday, December 24, through Saturday, January 1. The building will re-open at Noon on Sunday, January 2. Our trails remain open dawn to dusk.

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.


GPS Coordinates
+40.160    -79.272

Powdermill Nature Reserve
1795 Route 381
Rector, PA 15677


Hiking & Trails
Trails are open dawn to dusk.

Events at Powdermill

Nature Explorers: Hibernation

black bear at powdermill nature reserve
December 11, 2:00 pm
Powdermill Nature Reserve
1795 Route 381
Rector, PA United States
+ Google Map
taxidermy coyote


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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