Enjoy birding this spring through more than 25 miles of unpaved roads and trails dominated by bottomland forest along the Neuse River. Bird watchers are welcome at Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, a 2,856-acre property actively managed for the benefit of wildlife, conservation education, and outdoor recreation. The longleaf pine woodlands, varieties of mixed hardwood and pine forests, and abundant early successional habitats make Howell Woods a good birding spot year-round. Special species of interest to birders often include Loggerhead Shrike, Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, and Hooded Warbler.
Howell Woods also has cabins you can book for overnight stays. In fact, Howell Woods just celebrated the completion of a brand new cabin that is ADA compliant and sleeps up to 16 people. With the addition of the third cabin, the facility will now have the capacity to house 32 individuals overnight.
Want to explore beyond birding? Howell Woods currently offers numerous environmental education classes throughout the year on a variety of topics including bird migration, nature discovery hike, bird feeder building, geocaching, night safari, and guided Neuse River kayak trips. They also offer day camps, school field trips, a summer camp for kids, and a low-ropes course for teambuilding.
If you're traveling through the area and just have time for a quick stop, Howell Woods is located just a few miles off of I-95 very close to where it intersects with I-40; and the property is home to a Learning Center, which showcases live exhibits of native reptiles and birds of prey. The learning center also offers multiple events throughout the year that focus on nature education and outdoor recreation. For more information about outdoor activities in Johnston County click here.