The Westminster Branch is currently closed for construction. This temporary closure is anticipated to last eight weeks and is required to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Please check back for updates.

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Bear Branch Nature Center Email
Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks

300 John Owings Road
Westminster, MD 21158

410-386-3580 - voice
410-848-2567 - fax

Office HoursWed-Sat 11-5, Sun noon-5
Contact 1Nicole Bowman
Park Naturalist
410-386-3580 - voice
bearbranch@carrollcountymd.gov
PurposeTo connect people, parks, and programs in support of a strong, healthy community and natural environment.
ServiceBear Branch Nature Center is open Wednesday - Saturday from 11am - 5pm, and on Sundays from 12-5pm. The center features interpretive exhibits about local plants and animals, an outdoor water feature and play area, a Discovery Room for children, an observation beehive, live animals including an eagle, hawks, owls, snakes, salamanders, turtles, frogs, and toads, a planetarium and observatory. The nature center hosts field trips for K-12 students, public programs and festivals for all ages, birthday parties and private programs. The nature center is adjacent to Hashawha Environmental Center, a residential facility that is also operated by Carroll County Recreation & Parks. Hashawha Environmental Center is home to Carroll County Public Schools' Outdoor School, a residential environmental education program open to every sixth grade student in the county. The two facilities are located on 320 acres, with more than five miles of multi-use trails, a restored 19th century cabin, a lake, a pond, and access to both Bear Branch and Big Pipe Creek.
FeesFree Admission
SubjectsAstronomy, Children - Activities/Entertainment, Meeting Rooms/Receptions, Nature Study, Volunteers - Needed, Wildlife
Last Updated28 February 2021