This 3,621-acre refuge offers a bevy of events for the family, including canoe tours, animal and vegetation education, more than 20 miles of hiking trails, and activities that would make Martha Stewart proud (building your own compost bin comes to mind).
The center has more than 200 species of birds and 300 species of plants on the grounds, as well as bison, beavers, bobcats, wild turkeys, and alligators. At the Hardwicke Interpretive Center, you can peruse the nature library, tour the herbarium, or visit the bird-watching courtyard. From there, head out on one of the trails leading to scenic views of forest, prairies, and marshes.
Animal lovers should consider the many volunteer opportunities available at the center. Care for animals, get qualified as a tour or canoe guide, work in the visitor center, or become a part of the Natural Guard, a group that works on tasks such as habitat restoration and building projects.