Ney Nature Center







Ney Nature Center, A Le Sueur County park



Ney Nature Center is a 446-acre park in Le Sueur County east of Henderson. It is adjacent on the north to Ney Wildlife Management Area and on the south to Henderson Station County Park/River Access. It includes the Minnesota River bluff to the west, the steep ravine of an unnamed, intermittent stream to the south, and prairie to the north. It is one of 70 Minnesota Christmas Bird Count locations. Seventy-two bird species have been sited on bird count days from 1997 to 2014.

Ney Nature Center is a hybrid, both a Le Sueur County park, open daily to the public, and a nature center, providing educational events for groups of children.












446 acres


Driving Directions

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  Area and County
    County   Le Sueur County
    Region   Southwest Minnesota


28238 Nature Center Lane
Henderson, MN 56044

N44 32.417, W93 53.129



“...trails are open from sunrise until 10pm”



No fee



Summer Trail Map

Winter Trail Map



Mountain biking



Nature photography


Cross country skiing

Winter hiking






Winter hiking


Mountain bike

1.5 miles

Cross country skiing





Hunting and Fishing



Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification
Ecological Province Ecological Province  

Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province

Ecological Section Ecological Section  

Minnesota & NE Iowa Morainal

Ecological Subsection Ecological Subsection  

Big Woods

Land Type Association    

Hamburg Moraine


Native Plant Communities*


Dry Hill Oak Savanna (Southern)

Pin Oak - Bur Oak Woodland

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest

* Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources    

Natural Features


Forests, prairie, meadows, bluffs, creeks





Visitor Photos

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Michelle Isaacson

Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Youth at the Ney Nature Center enjoy catching butterflies in the warmer months.


There are eight main trails to explore at the Ney Nature Center with several connections between trails. The Field Trail connects Don's Pond Loop Trail to the Food Plot Trail.

Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

A pair of youth enjoy exploring the natural environment at the Ney Nature Center during one of its many youth programs.




The old barn at the Kahlow Homestead stands among the native prairie. The barn has since been refinished and now serves as a visitor center during the warmer months.

Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Youth are seen taking in the views at one of two outlooks at the Ney Nature Center.

  The grounds at Ney Nature Center are open for cross-country skiing during months when there is snow cover. Trails are maintained and groomed to provide an enjoyable experience.

Kirk Nelson

Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Barn and house

  Farm buildings
Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Historic farm buildings, photos taken in 2008

Ney Nature Center    

Historic farm buildings, photos taken in 2008

Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Historic farm buildings – corn crib, hired hands quarters

Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Frog Pond Photos
Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center

Visitor Center

  Henry and Mathilda Ney Farm House, 1895
Ney Nature Center   Ney Nature Center


Ney Nature Center    

Hidden Windmill Trail





Ney Nature Center
Peg Pasternak

Ney Nature Center

Henderson, Minnesota



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

Trail building at the Ney Nature Center, Henderson MN


Apr 23, 2016

A group of energetic volunteers are building some new mountain bike trails at the Ney Nature Center in Henderson.

Ney Nature Center in Henderson, MN
Lonsdale SkyPixel


Oct 22, 2016

Beautiful Ney Nature Center in Henderson, MN

Video journal of local nature area
Riley McGraw


Published on Feb 6, 2015

Ney nature center



Visitor Sightings

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Insects and Arachnids

blue-fronted dancer (Argia apicalis)

common whitetail (Plathemis lydia) Sightings





Six bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)

eBird Field Checklist

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia)

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)


American Goldfinch

Canada Goose


Northern Cardinal

White-breasted Nuthatch

Fungi and Lichens

Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)

Gold Dust Lichen (Chrysothrix candelaris)

Plum Pocket (Taphrina communis)

Powdery Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria ulophyllodes)

  Crown Rust

Insects and Arachnids

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas Insects List

ash bead gall mite (Aceria fraxini)

plum finger gall mite (Eriophyes emarginatae)

  plum finger gall mite


American mink (Neovison vison)

eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)

  eastern gray squirrel


One plant species with conservation status in Minnesota is found here:

Special Concern

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List

Plants frequently found in:

Dry Hill Oak Savanna (Southern) UPs14c

Pin Oak - Bur Oak Woodland FDs37b

Red Oak - Sugar Maple - Basswood - (Bitternut Hickory) Forest MHs38c



American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)

American elm (Ulmus americana)

American plum (Prunus americana)

American stinging nettle (Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis)

American vetch (Vicia americana ssp. americana)

Aunt Lucy (Ellisia nyctelea)

autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bland sweet cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

boxelder (Acer negundo var. negundo)

Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

chokecherry (Prunus virginiana var. virginiana)

cleavers (Galium aparine)

common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca)

desert false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)

early meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)

eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana)

field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)

fragrant bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)

littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata)

Manchurian lilac (Syringa pubescens ssp. patula)

northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis)

northern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis)

Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

red clover (Trifolium pratense)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

rock elm (Ulmus thomasii)

rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

slippery elm (Ulmus rubra)

smooth brome (Bromus inermis)

smooth rose (Rosa blanda var. blanda)

Virginia stickseed (Hackelia virginiana)

Virginia waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white spruce (Picea glauca)

wild grape (Vitis riparia)

woodbine (Parthenocissus vitacea)


Acer negundo var. negundo (boxelder)

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo)

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)

Asarum canadense (Canadian wild ginger)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Bromus inermis (smooth brome)

Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed)

Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd’s purse)

Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)

Celtis occidentalis (northern hackberry)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Cynoglossum officinale (hound’s tongue)

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive)

Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)

Ellisia nyctelea (Aunt Lucy)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Galium aparine (cleavers)

Galium triflorum (fragrant bedstraw)

Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)

Hydrophyllum virginianum var. virginianum (Virginia waterleaf)

Juglans nigra (black walnut)

Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Leonurus cardiaca ssp. cardiaca (common motherwort)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Osmorhiza claytonii (bland sweet cicely)

Parthenocissus vitacea (woodbine)

Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)

Picea glauca (white spruce)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Prunus virginiana var. virginiana (chokecherry)

Quercus ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak)

Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)

Rosa blanda var. blanda (smooth rose)

Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)

Syringa pubescens ssp. patula (Manchurian lilac)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue)

Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone)

Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress)

Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar)

Tilia cordata (littleleaf linden)

Trifolium pratense (red clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

Ulmus rubra (slippery elm)

Ulmus thomasii (rock elm)

Urtica gracilis ssp. gracilis (American stinging nettle)

Vicia americana ssp. americana (American vetch)

Vitis riparia (wild grape)

Zanthoxylum americanum (northern prickly ash)


American vetch

Aunt Lucy



common dandelion

desert false indigo

early meadow-rue

hedge bindweed

red clover

Russian olive

smooth rose

Virginia waterleaf

white clover

wild grape










Created: 11/21/2015

Last Updated:

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