Durant Nature Preserve Amenities

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Lakes/Fishing Bird Garden Butterfly Garden Sensory and Nature Play Garden Picnicking Discovery Backpacks ecoEXPLORE HotSpot


A little girl fishing off a dock
  • Fishing is permitted from the fishing docks only.
  • Fishing is prohibited at the upper lake, which has no fishing docks or piers. Bank fishing is prohibited by city ordinance because it damages shoreline habitat and endangers wildlife.

For nearby fishing opportunities, check out Forest Ridge Park or Falls Lake State Recreation Area.

Bird Garden

A sign that says "Welcome to the Bird Garden" in woods surrounded by green leaves

Visit our bird garden, located directly behind the Training Lodge (accessible from the North Entrance).

View a list of documented birds at Durant Nature Preserve.

Butterfly Garden

Two butterflies hanging out on some trees in the butterfly garden

Enjoy viewing a variety of butterflies, caterpillars, and other insects in our garden, located directly in front of the Training Lodge (accessible from the North Entrance).

Sensory and Nature Play Garden

Sign that says "Welcome to the Sensory and Nature Play Garden" with garden beds in the background with green trees

In early 2020, the sensory garden at Durant Nature Preserve suffered a blow from a powerful storm, causing the garden to close for almost a year. Time, nature, and the tender care of staff and volunteers have nurtured the garden back to life, and we are excited to have it open once again. We hope you’ll stop by to check out our new play features or take a short walk along the garden trails to see what’s blooming. 

The garden boasts a variety of colorful plants, whimsical murals, and nature play elements designed to delight the senses and encourage play and exploration. A picnic table and benches provide opportunities to relax and enjoy a picnic. Glimpses of frogs jumping in small ponds and darting dragonflies can be seen while strolling around the garden trails.

Sensory and Nature Play Garden Slideshow

Sensory Garden Know Before You Go

The sensory garden is open during park hours, which are dawn to dusk, 7 days a week. The garden is located immediately on your left upon entering the top of the entrance road off Durant Road that leads to the parking lot. Bring your own water (no water is available in or near the garden). Public restrooms are located by the picnic shelters and playground, which is about a 250-yard walk down a dirt and gravel road.


One of the individual picnic tables

Individual picnic tables are located at both the North and South entrances to the park. These tables do not include grills. Please note that personal grills are not permitted in the park.

Discovery Backpacks

Red backpack leaned up against tree trunk

Explorer backpack kits are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis whenever the park is open.

Discovery backpacks are available at the park office to check out for free. Explore animal tracking, nature art, pond life, insects, and birds.

ecoEXPLORE HotSpot

Sign with ecoEXPLORE information

Durant Nature Preserve is now an ecoEXPLORE HotSpot. ecoEXPLORE is a program where kids grades K–8 can earn prizes and help scientists just by taking photos!

Learn more about ecoEXLORE and sign up today.