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Plan Your Visit

Come for a walk around the Grasslands Trail, discover and learn in the Interpretative Centre, explore the naturescape gardens and viewpoints, relax and reflect on one of the many on-site benches, or enjoy a picnic lunch or refreshments under our covered picnic area. Allan Brooks Nature Centre is a family friendly destination for local and out of town visitors alike.

Allan Brooks Nature Centre offers a safe haven from stress associated with the pandemic, and a place for families to connect with nature in the Okanagan. Unplug from your phone, leave the city behind and experience the beauty and awe of the natural world from one of the best views in Vernon.

We have a few recommendations to make your visit the best it possibly can be. We encourage guests to bring clothing suitable for the weather. In the summer months, sun hats and sunscreen are highly recommended, but sometimes the wind can take your breath away! Bring your camera to capture the panoramic views and native birds. Here are some more relevant details to help plan your trip:

ADMISSION

Admission to the Allan Brooks Nature Centre is by donation. You will find a number of hand-crafted animal donation boxes on the grounds to collect your donation, such as an owl, marmot and hawk! Special thanks to the Men’s Shed for their contribution in the construction and design of the donation boxes.

HOURS OF OPERATION

Allan Brooks Nature Centre is open to the public, Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00am – 3:30pm (to allow additional time for Covid cleaning at the end of day) from April 17 to the end of October. Staff are onsite year round to answer any inquiries.

HOW TO GET HERE

From downtown Vernon via Hwy 97, turn W of 25th Ave, then S on 34th St or Mission Rd. We are a short 5 min drive from Vernon off of Mission Rd past the Vernon Army Camp. Allan Brooks Way is to the left, up the hill!

From the Kelowna Airport, head N on Hwy 97 towards Vernon. Turn left on to Bailey Rd (same turn off to Predator Ridge or Sparkling Hill). Follow Bailey Rd and stay to the right as it turns into Commonage Rd. Allan Brooks Way is to the right, up the hill!

TYPICAL DURATION

We recommend you allow for a minimum ½ hour stay to stretch your legs with a short walk and time to take beautiful photos. If you plan to stay and discover the Interpretive Centre (Discovery and Habitat Rooms and Gift Shop), take a guided/self-guided tour of the walking path, explore the sundial, pond, marmot city, or bird watch, let the kids play in the playground, take part in a special event, and bring a picnic lunch, we recommend you plan your stay for 2 to 3 hours.

TRAIL TOURS AND NATURE TALKS

Trail Tours and Nature talks are family friendly educational opportunities, suitable for guests of all ages. They will run from May 1 – August 28, 2021

Guided Trail Tours are provided by our educated and passionate staff and volunteers on topics related to grassland plants and animals. The tour is approximately ~40 minutes long, on an easy, yet rolling, gravel walking path. Group sizes are limited, pre-registration is available. Call the centre at 250-260-4227 or check-in at the Interpretive Centre to sign-up for a tour. The cost is $5.00 per person, youth under 16 are free. ABNC members can attend for free!

Nature Talks are also provided by our staff or volunteers in the Grasslands Theatre (weather permitting), a short walk downhill from the Interpretive Centre. Topics will vary each week, and include props and taxidermy. There is no need to pre-register, simply check-in at the Interpretive Centre upon arrival and find a seat on one of our benches, or bring your own lawn chair. Nature Talks are free, but a donation is appreciated.

TuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
n/an/a1 pm | Trail Tourn/a11 am | Trail Tour

1pm | Nature Talk

THE NATURE SHOP

Inside the entrance to the Interpretive Centre you will find a small gift shop with unique items related to nature including, books, gift cards, stuffed animals, games and toys for children, and locally sourced gift items. Water is available to purchase as well as grab-and-go snacks and sweet treats, all suitable for your nature adventure or road trip.

FOOD AND DRINK

Guests are welcomed to bring picnic lunches onsite. There are picnic tables available and limited shade areas. Please throw away garbage and recycling in bins provided, or better yet, remember to pack re-useables! There is water and snacks available for purchase in the Gift Shop. We do not have a café on-site, but and we are located only minutes away from a number of sandwich shops, restaurants, and grocery stores in downtown Vernon.

PARKING

There are 2 gravel parking lots available to guests. Accessible parking is available at the top of the driveway in front of the Learning Centre (signs are provided), as well as the south parking lot where an accessible entrance to the walking path is located.

WASHROOMS

Washrooms are located inside the Interpretive Centre with one being accessible.

ACCESSIBILITY

There are 2 accessible parking stalls available in front of the buildings and additional accessible parking stalls in our upper parking lot next to an accessible entrance to our walking path. Our entrance to the Interpretive Centre is accessible as well as our washroom facility. The nature walking path is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, however due to the grade of the slope and loose gravel material, it may not be accessible to everyone. The viewpoint is also accessible by a flat, partly paved, partly gravel pathway. Again, the viewpoint may not be accessible to everyone due to the nature of the footing.

VISITOR RULES AND GUIDELINES

  • Sorry, dogs are not permitted on the grounds
  • Children must be supervised at all times
  • Please do not remove any natural material from the grounds
  • The nature trails are for walking only, no bicycles allowed
  • Allan Brooks Nature Centre does not permit smoking anywhere on the property

Please refer to our complete list of rules and guidelines here.

SUPPORT

There are two ways you can support the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, as a donor and member. As a registered charitable organization, we rely on the community to help keep our organization thriving, and in turn help support nature. Thank you for your continued support!

Leave us a review so that we can help more people connect with nature!

“A beautiful location with some wonderful family-focused education on the natural habitats of the Okanagan. Evening events look fun but we haven’t made it out yet!”

“Their displays of wildlife and land formations are very informative. The raptor demonstrations are marvelous with hands-on experience. We visit several times each summer.”

The view from up there is simply breathtaking! Even if that is the only reason you go, the rest will be a bonus! Self guiding system of trails, great indoor displays of local wildlife as well as the programs that are offered, this is a hidden gem of a place.

“We like to hike and wander about in nature so it is essential that you learn what local plant and animal species are potential problems. This visit was perfect for that. Also we learned the names of many native plants, birds, and animals. This is a very different habitat than our home! Great murals as well of the diversity of local habitats and also so informative. We knew what to look for and what to watch out for after our visit. The birds of prey were very cool too. The view alone is worth the cost. It was not free but I was glad to support the local naturalists excellent work.”

“Big shout out to the folks who take care of the grounds, the buildings and displays and care and education of the creatures. Beautiful view and trails.”

“We liked this centre very much. Inside were a number of displays about the area, the highlights of which included stuffed (taxidermy) owls, eagles, hawks, bears, and various other animals and birds…. The trail was lovely in its own way. Included a Marmot City. One marmot seemed to pose for pictures for us! The grasses and wildflowers were quietly spectacular. Really enjoyed this little Centre.”

“Amazing 360 degree views, animal and bird life right there to watch, inside are great informative displays with some interactivity. So peaceful to sit on any bench and watch the marmots and many birds.”

“Panoramic view of Vernon……..interesting display of the flora & fauna of the Okanagan, great place for visitors and families with kids.”