Long Branch Nature Center at Glencarlyn Park


About this Nature Center

Long Branch Nature Center hosts year-round programs and special events, including storytimes, hikes, nature walks, and campfires. The nature center features seasonal exhibits, a children’s Discovery Room, live animals, interpretive gardens, a viewing pond, space for birthday parties and an outdoor Nature Discovery Area.

Long Branch stream flows through the woods, past two ponds full of frogs and turtles. Long Branch’s wooded stream valley is home to a diverse population of wildlife including raccoons, foxes, flying squirrels, salamanders and more. A wide variety of butterflies and other invertebrates are also found.  Trails at Long Branch connect to Glencarlyn Park and the W&OD Trail.


  • View available activities at Long Branch Nature Center. Center staff provide year-round programming for community members of all ages and abilities. Seasonal festivals and special events are also a highlight!
  • Request a naturalist-led program for your school, scout troop, preschool, etc. Many of our school programs have been aligned with VDOE's Science Standards of Learning. To request a program, fill out our online form, call 703-228-6535, or email longbranch@arlingtonva.us. Please request at least three weeks in advance.


Seasonal exhibits, a children's Discovery Room, live animals, interpretive gardens, a viewing pond, a classroom (40 person capacity), an outdoor Nature Discovery Area, and a stream.


George Washington once owned the property where the center stands today and surveyed his “woods” in 1785. Long Branch Nature Center also was once the private home of Mae Hickman.  Mae served for over 50 years as a wildlife rehabilitator and co-authored Care of the Wild Feathered and Furred.  Long Branch Nature Center is Arlington County's second nature center and opened in 1972.

Celebrate Your Birthday

Children 4 and up, join a naturalist at Long Branch Nature Center with up to 17 of your closest friends and discover some neat things about the animal of your choice and even meet a critter up-close and personal! Cost for room/amphitheater rental and a 30 minute Naturalist led presentation is $200, you may add a hike for an additional $50. All birthday parties are held on select Saturdays between 1-4 p.m., inclusive of setup and cleanup. To request a date for your party, fill out our online form, call 703-228-6535, or email longbranch@arlingtonva.us. Please request at least three weeks in advance.


Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Gulf Branch Nature Center Volunteer With Us Poster

RiP – Long Branch Invasive Plant Removal

Do you like working outside? Join community volunteers in protecting the local environment from invasive plants. This is a continuing project on the third Sunday of each month to reclaim natural areas near Long Branch Nature Center from invasive plants. Learn more about this ongoing volunteer opportunity.

Directions Transit Parking

Parking: Limited

Park Map

Visit Long Branch on Facebook or Instagram

TTY: 711
Inclement Weather Line: 703-228-4715

Learn Park Rules and Regulations. And remember, please don't smoke in our parks.


Gulf Branch Nature Center Volunteer With Us Poster


625 S Carlin Springs Rd, Arlington, VA 22204  View Map

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