Kreher Preserve & Nature Center

Kreher Preserve & Nature Center (formerly Forest Ecology Preserve)
3100 AL Hwy 147 N.
Auburn, AL
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About The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center

The Kreher Preserve & Nature Center (formerly Forest Ecology Preserve) is a nature center established as an outreach program of the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences designed to reach out to all people of every age with a strong focus on families and children.

Besides providing 110 acres with miles of beautiful wooded hiking trails and other special features, it also provides regularly scheduled programs presented by professionals in their field. Field trip opportunities for school age children are available by reservation. These programs include exciting hands-on environmental education activities that support the Alabama curriculum course of study. Features include the Frank Allen Turner Memorial Canopy – a 150- seat multi-level meeting area with restrooms, fireplace, wheelchair ramp and drinking fountain; pavilion and welcome center/office; 1/8th mile handicap trail; kiosks providing maps and other information; more than 15 named trails through various habitats; Global Positioning System (GPS) Benchmarks; and permanent orienteering course. Don’t miss the reptile viewing area, fern viewing area, native azalea area, pond and streams, waterfall, butterfly garden, an old home site and barn.

Part of Alabama Birding Trails

The Alabama Birding Trails has announced that Auburn University’s Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, informally known as the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, will be designated as an Alabama Birding Trail location as part of the regional Piedmont Valley Birding Trail.

The 120-acre preserve, located just north of Auburn, features five miles of well-marked trails which traverse seven natural bird habitats including pine, oak/hickory, bottomland hardwood and mixed pine/hardwood.  As part of the Saugahatchee Creek Watershed, visitors will also find a stream, small waterfall, pond and wetland areas.

Approximately 80 different bird species can be found on the property throughout the year, including the Belted Kingfisher, Mississippi Kite and Indigo Bunting. The preserve habitat hosts migratory birds in the spring such as warblers, vireos, tanagers and orioles.  Fall and wintering birds such as nuthatches, kinglets and woodpeckers are frequently observed. 

Visitors to the Kreher Preserve are also able to observe various species of raptors including hawks, owls and vultures. Nesting Bald Eagles are present on nearby properties and are frequently observed flying into and over the preserve.

“The Kreher Preserve and Nature Center is enjoyed by the university community as well thousands of locals and visitors every year,” said Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.  “We hope that by adding it to the Alabama Birding Trail even more families will be exposed to the opportunity to enjoy this unique discovery center with its miles of beautiful trails, natural habitats and educational programs.”

Hands-On Learning and Discovery

The Forest Ecology Preserve is truly a living laboratory; offering children who visit to participate in programs which allows abundant opportunity to discover nature with hands-on learning.


Summer Ecology Camp: This exciting week-long camp is designed for children. It incorporates scientific and nature-based learning with hands-on activities, hikes, games and crafts.

Forest Friends Preschool Program: The award-winning Forest Friends program is a unique experience for preschool children and their parents. This program incorporates hands-on activities with nature and environmental awareness. Offered bi-annually.

Guided Discovery Hikes: Explore the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and learn something new each month about plants, wildlife and nature with a trained naturalist who will offer your family fun opportunities for hands-on learning, exploration, and exercise. The Guided Discovery Hikes feature a different topic each month chosen from a variety of seasonal themes. Offered the second Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. This event is free and is open for families and children.

Nature Walks: These monthly guided tours are offered every second Thursday of the month at 8:30 a.m. The Nature Walks are free to the public and are for adults only.

Click here to view the KPNC's Events Calendar

Hours of Operation

Sunrise to Sunset, Seven Days a Week