Hartman Reserve Nature Center

Collecting sap to make maple syrup
Pileated Woodpecker can be heard echoeing through the Hartman forest

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Hartman Reserve Nature Center is a 340 acre wooded isle located in the heart of metropolitan Black Hawk County. Hartman lies in the center of the Waterloo, Cedar Falls area. It offers many activities and experiences to all its visitors. Hartman Reserve Nature Center is an entity of the Black Hawk County Conservation Board and is supported by the Friends of Hartman Reserve.

Since our creation in 1976, Hartman Reserve Nature Center has been designated as an Iowa Watchable Wildlife Site and an Important Bird Area. Deer, otter, turkeys, pileated woodpeckers, red shouldered hawks, foxes, vultures, and bald eagles are some of the wildlife you might see. We are a partner site of Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area. Hartman Bluff State Preserve is certified by the Iowa DNR Preserves Board to recognize the significance of a 46 acre tract of upland and lowland forest within the Nature Center.

Hartman Reserve Interpretive Center Virtual Tour - Tour produced by Flight Spool

Phone: (319) 277-2187
Hartman Reserve Nature Center

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Hartman Reserve Nature Center is located in Cedar Falls, three blocks north of the intersection of Rainbow Drive and Laurie Avenue. From Highway 218, take the Greenhill Road exit and follow the brown park signs to Hartman Reserve Nature Center.


The Interpretive Center houses displays and exhibits which help explain the local environment and is easily accessed from the parking lot using the paved entrance trail. Connection to the American Discovery Trail is also nearby. The Cedar Valley Paddlers Trail includes the lakes of Hartman and provides water connection through the Cedar River, George Wyth State Park and Hartman Reserve Nature Center.

Enjoy the beauty of a diverse environment by stepping outside the Interpretive Center onto one of the many connecting paths and trails. Paved and unpaved, these trails offer you a way to interact with the local environment and wildlife. Come with your sense of adventure and enjoy what this eco-friendly area has to offer.

The Gene and Betty Buckles Program Center is an environmentally conscious "Green Building"  intended to be a model because of its use of recycled materials and energy efficiency. If you are looking for a small and affordable facility with a beautiful view, this is the place! Tucked away in the middle of Hartman Reserve's scenic upland forest, this building offers a cozy atmosphere for meetings, retreats, weddings, and receptions.

Hartman Reserve Nature Center has many unique facilities, which can be used for event and program rentals.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Hartman Reserve Nature Center's trail system is open every day from sunrise to sunset. Hartman Interpretive Center, Buckles Building, and Acorn Gift Shop are open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 


The Hartman Interpretive Center, Acorn Gift Shop, and Gene and Betty Buckles Program Center are closed on all major holidays.

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