The Northlake Nature Center, a 400-acre nature preserve east of Mandeville, offers nature-related, educational, and healthy, active lifestyle programs for the public and student groups. With over eight miles of hiking and biking trails, and a canoe launch free for public use, the preserve is a respite on the edge of a wildlife refuge and a top birding site along the Mississippi flyway. Open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.
Educational programs repeat each month with seasonal programs announced throughout the year. Most programs are free for members or $5 for non-members. Space is very limited and reservations are required for most activities. All visitors are expected to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others. Stay safe so they can stay open!
Featured programs include group bike rides of the center's trails, group dog walks, Kundalini yoga and line dancing classes, guided canoe trips on nearby Bayou Castine, nighttime hikes with marshamallow roast, guided hikes to maintain the trails and learn about native plants and animals, and reading/walking groups, a partnerships with the St. Tammany Parish Public Library.
- Canoeing on Castine Bayou, Feb. 28, March 27, April 24
- Biking the Back Trails and Tips to Trail Riding, Feb. 28, March 30, April 27
- Dog Wag and Walk, Feb. 21, March 21, April 18
- Nature Walk & Titivation, Feb. 24; March 10, 17 & 24; April 7, 28
- Moonlight Hike & Marshmallow Melt, Feb. 26, March 28, April 25
- Storywalk! Feb. 19, March 19
- Adult Storywalk!, Feb. 26, March 12
- "All About Nature" Book Club, March 12
- Walk in the Woods, April 10
- Kundalini Yoga, March 9, April 13
- Line Dancing, March 15, April 19
- Reginelli's Fundraiser, ALL DAY March 16
RESERVE YOUR SPOTS:
Call Rue McNeill at (985) 626-1238 or email Rue@NorthlakeNature.org.
Sundays, Feb. 21, March 21 and April 18 at 8 am
Dog Wag and Walk with Sam
Take a guided walk through the trails with your 4-legged companion experiencing the joy of traversing the trail network for plenty of tail wagging, sniffing and socialization. Water and bowl recommended, leash and friendly 4-legged required. Free for members; Non-members-$5.00. Limited space available. Registration required.
Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Sundays, February 21, March 27 and April 24, 1-4 pm
Canoeing on Castine Bayou with Canoe and Trail Adventures
Enjoy a three hour paddling outing in a canoe for two/family. Guide Byron Almquist, a long-time paddling guide and Louisiana Master Naturalist, will discuss and describe the habitats and history of the bayou and provide paddling instructions, if desired. Bayou Castine is a Louisiana “natural and scenic stream” which flows past the Northlake Nature Center, through forested high ground, transitions to a mixed cypress swamp and then past marshes and marinas before emptying into Lake Pontchartrain.
- $40 for one paddler; $70 for two adults, free for up to 2 children (11 or younger) (member rate)
- Additional $5 per person for non-members
- Meeting point given at time of registration
- Weight limit 240 lbs
- Masks must be worn at launch site
- Limited space available. Registration required. Call (985) 626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Wednesdays, Feb. 24, March 10, 17 & 24 and April 7 & 28 at 1 pm
Nature Walk and Titivation
Smell the clean air and hear the birds rejoice as you visit swamps, ponds, bayous, hardwoods forests and pineland habitats! Reserve a lopper to spruce up the trails with your trail trimming techniques even more! Cherish the beauty, give your healthy lifestyle a jump-start and titivate yourself and your community while supporting the Northlake Nature Center! Enjoy a 2 hour walk in the woods and light exercise in the healthy outdoors. Loppers are limited, reserve yours today. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Fridays, Feb. 26 at 5:45 pm, March 28 at 7:10 pm, and April 25 at 7:25 pm
Moonlight Hike and Marshmallow Melt
Ever wondered what the Northlake Nature Center would be like at night? What would you hear, what would you see, and what would you smell? Take a quiet walk under the full moon and find out! Bring your own flashlight and enjoy roasting gigantic marshmallows over an open campfire and making s’mores. Space is limited. Reservations Required. Free for members, non-members, $5. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Sundays, Feb. 28 at 9 am; March 30 and April 27 at 6 pm
Biking the Back Trails and Tips to Trail Riding
with David Moeller, The Bike Path
David will share his life-time passion and expertise with tips to riding the trails for the biking enthusiast and guide you through the back trails of the Northlake Nature Center’s 8+ miles of pure nature landscape delight! Explore the back trails and discover why trail riding is becoming an exciting alternative to bike riding the pavement. Helmet required, mountain bike or wide tires recommended. Space is limited, reservations required. Free for members, $5 non-members. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Friday, April 10 at 9 am
Walk in the Woods with Rue McNeill and Donna Caire
On a guided hike through the diverse ecosystem at the 400 acre Northlake Nature Center in Mandeville, you will discover the many varieties of our native plants. The “Four Seasons” Tree ID Program aims to enable participants to identify native trees and shrubs year round. Each session highlights seasonal features which are often unique to individual species. The Winter Session highlights bark and twig features and persistent leaves. Donna will point out our medicinals along the way! Rue will share her love of trees and the uniqueness of each species. Space is limited. Reservations required. Free for members; $5 for non-members. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Tuesdays, March 9 and April 13 at 1 pm
Kundalini Yoga with Sally Dunn
Kundalini Yoga is an active form of meditation using postures, breath and mantras. It is a yoga that practices meditation and movement to achieve a sense of spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. It is easy and fun, students leave with a feeling of happiness and peace. The theme this month is “Gardening the Mind”; come start your new year off as we plant new seeds for tomorrow’s growth. Sally has studied under the late Yogi Bhajan for Kundalini yoga, Khentral Rinpoche in the practice of Dharma and S.N. Goenka in the practice of Vipassana meditation for over a decade and is a delight to be instructed by. Bring your own yoga mat and dress for the outdoor weather under the Pavilion at the Northlake Nature Center! Space is limited.
Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Mondays, March 15 and April 19 at 6 pm
Line Dancing with Jeanne Schramm in the pavilion
Get your dancing shoes on and get ready to learn some new steps or rekindle the old! Free for Members; $5 for non-members. Limited space so register soon. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Fridays, Feb. 19 and March 19, 9 am-4 pm
Storywalk! Co-presented by St. Tammany Parish Public Library
Walk the trails at the Northlake Nature Center while reading an interactive story along the way! The book for the Feb. 4 walk is Officer Buckle & Gloria. and for Feb. 19, The Pigeon Needs a Bath. No reservations required. Free to the public! Bring a snack or lunch to enjoy a picnic before or after. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Fridays, February 26, 10am-5pm and March 12, 12-4pm
Adult Storywalk! Co-presented by St. Tammany Parish Public Library
Walk the trails at the Northlake Nature Center while reading an introduction to some of the books that the “All About Nature” book club has read, and participate in healthy stretch moves along the way! No reservations required. Free to the public! Bring a snack or lunch to enjoy a picnic before or after. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Friday, March 12 at 12 pm
"All About Nature” Book Club with Moderator Bev Chase
The book club meets to discuss Underland by Robert MacFarlane, a NY Times “100 Books of the Year" and winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and others. Bring your lunch and meet at the picnic tables by the pavilion. The book is available at the St. Tammany Parish Library and on Amazon. Free for Members, Non-members-$5. Call 985-626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Support the Northlake Nature Center through sponsorships or memberships at NorthlakeNature.org/Memberships.
*Northlake Nature Center is looking for a small group to host the Moonlight Hike events by making a campfire and preparing the marshmallow sticks, and guide one caboose for the trail walk. Please call Rue McNeill at (985) 626-1238 or email Rue@northlakenature.org.
Photos provided by Northlake Nature Center, LouisianaNorthshore.com and @chelsywiley via Instagram.