Plan Your Visit
The Visitor Center is your gateway to Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve. A friendly volunteer or staff member in the Twinleaf Book & Gift Shop will orient you to the Preserve and tell you about seasonal highlights. Using our map, they can suggest the best trails for you to walk on based on your time, interests and abilities. They can also help you sign up for a program from our Calendar of Events, or help you to become a member.
Admission for members is free. Just check in at the Visitor’s Center and begin to enjoy your day. If you're not a member of the Preserve, please pay the admission fee in the Visitor Center. Your admission fee entitles you to unlimited daylong access to the Preserve and to a free, guided Wildflower Walk (offered 2 pm Tuesdays through Sunday from April to October).
Twinleaf Book & Gift Shop
Conveniently located in our Visitor Center, the Twinleaf Book & Gift Shop offers an exceptional selection of reference books plus a variety of nature and botany titles, field guides, regional gardening information, children’s and adult nature-themed books and clothing. Members receive a 10 percent discount on books, apparel and plants—and all purchases help support our educational programs.
Looking for a gift certificate? You can get them in the Shop as well. Think of us when searching for a birthday, special occasion, thank you or holiday present. Gift certificates can be redeemed for education programs, Shop and plant purchases. To purchase and send a BHWP gift certificate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted.
(Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express)
Restrooms and a water cooler also are located at the Visitor Center. Bottled water is available for purchase in the Shop. No food is sold on site, but there are restaurants and convenience stores nearby, including in New Hope.
Inside the Visitor Center’s auditorium, an enormous wall of windows overlooks the forest canopy, the Pidcock Creek valley and Bowman's Hill. The Bird Observatory offers an unrestricted view of several feeders, where birds can be closely observed feeding on seeds, suet and sugar water.
Depending on the season, you might see hummingbirds, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, house finches, goldfinches, grosbeaks, cardinals, juncos, sparrows, doves, thrushes or woodpeckers. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a hawk, a turkey or a pileated woodpecker, the largest North American woodpecker.
To learn more about which bird species you may find here at the Preserve and in the surrounding area, please download our Bird Checklist.
After observing birds at the feeders and in the trees, head downstairs to the lower level of the Visitor Center, where you can enjoy the highly unusual Platt Collection of birds, eggs and nests.
Donated in 1972 by local ornithologist Charles Platt, the collection is a perennial favorite of visitors, regardless of their age. It includes nearly 100 mounted bird specimens and over 200 nests and 600 eggs—the nests and eggs of nearly all the birds found in the Delaware Valley region. Arranged by plant community, the exhibit underscores the importance of native plants to birds.
Reference & Children's Library
A reference library of 800 books about native plants, horticulture, ecology, plant folklore, birds and related subjects is catalogued and available to the public for on-site use. The library is located in the Auditorium and provides a perfect place for learning more about plants you see on the trails or for digging deeper into a nature topic that interests you.
A small Children's Library is also located in the Auditorium. Browse child-oriented reference and storybooks that cover such topics as amphibians, animals, birds, flowers, forests, fungi, insects and seasons.
Idea Garden & Bog
Just outside the Visitor Center is our native plant Idea Garden, where you can discover more than 130 native plant species in a cultivated and easily accessible setting. As our garden demonstrates, native plants are not just suited for wild spaces; they also thrive in home gardens and flower beds. In fact, because they are adapted to our local environmental conditions, native plants actually require less maintenance than non-native garden plants and benefit the local ecosystem.
Our garden is full of flowers that bloom in all seasons, so it is always vibrant and constantly changing. In the early spring, our shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia) steal the show. Mid-season, our fire-pinks (Silene virginica) are major stunners. And among our many aster species blooming in late summer, the New England aster (Symphotrichum novae-angliae) is a magnet for butterflies and other pollinators.
We also encourage you to explore our bog idea garden.
What is a bog?
A bog is a unique type of wetland, characterized by its high volume of Sphagnum moss. Bogs are typically fed only by rainwater, lacking access to any groundwater or streams. They tend to be highly acidic, with nutrient-poor soils.
Bog plants have evolved various adaptations that enable them to live in these circumstances. As a result, bogs are host to some of the greatest plant diversity and can display a distinct array of unusual and interesting plants.
You don’t need a bog to take advantage of some of the fascinating plants that grow there. Want to grow the carnivorous pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) or the striking swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) in your own garden? The Preserve’s bog garden shows you how.
Creating a bog garden can be as simple as a filling a container with peat moss and sand, or it can involve covering an expansive area of land. Bog gardens can prevent flooding by drawing in excess rainwater, and they also act as natural filters for ponds.
Like the main demonstration garden, the bog garden provides a point of reference for visitors looking to include native plants in their home landscape. The unique and captivating plants in this garden will provide a great addition to any home garden.