Hartman Reserve Nature Center is a 300 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.
In 1938, John C. Hartman of the Waterloo Daily
Courier helped the local YMCA purchase 56
acres of forested land. Camp Hartman Reserve
was used for residential camping and other
programs until the early 1970s. In 1976, the
Black Hawk County Conservation Board
purchased the land in order to establish an
environmental education center.
Click to learn more about the natural history 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.
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 new 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. Click to see the map.
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. Click to view a map of the entire Cedar Trails system.
Hartman Reserve Nature Center has many unique facilities which can be used for event and program rentals. Visit the pages below to learn about these areas.
Gene and Betty Buckles Program Center
Hartman Reserve Nature Center is located at the Waterloo/Cedar Falls border, three blocks north of the intersection of Rainbow Drive and Laurie Avenue. From Highway 218, take the Greenhill Road exit and follow the signs. Click maps on the right for a larger view.
Hartman Interpretive Center and the Acorn Gift Shop are open Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. The Hartman Interpretive Center is closed on major holidays. The trail system is open every day from sunrise to sunset.