The Claytor Nature Center (CNC) provides a variety of facilities for use by students, professors, and community members.
In addition to the facilities listed below, we also house:
The Claytor Nature Center offers open fields, woodlands, riverside cliffs, wetlands, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and over two miles of trails.
Historically managed as a farm since the late 1700s, some sections are now managed for environmental conservation and restoration as part of agreements with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Natural features of the Center:
Nearly 7.5 miles of hiking trails at the Claytor Nature Center allow visitors to experience beautiful natural landscapes including open fields, woodlands, riverside cliffs, wetlands, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. There are also five geocaches scattered about the property. For information about geocaching or to download locations, visit www.geocaching.com. When you sign in at the CNSC kiosk, you can also swing by the lobby of the education building to pick up the short companion guide to the CNSC’s five geocaches, or download the companion guide here: Geocache companion.
We currently do not allow horses, ATVs, or bikes on our trails. Dogs are welcome, but must remain on leash at all times.
The Center is also registered on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail with the Virginia Department of Inland Fisheries.
Education and Research Facility
The highlight of University of Lynchburg’s commitment to environmental education is the 7,700-square-foot A. Boyd Claytor III Education & Research Facility.
The building is located on the northern side of the property, just off of Woods Road. It is built on a ridge at the edge of the upland forest, overlooking the wetlands and the Big Otter River.
The building is designed to blend into the natural scenery while providing views and access to a variety of the Center’s habitats.
Make reservations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ramsey-Freer Herbarium (LYN) is the largest Virginia private college plant collection and the fourth largest in the commonwealth, with more than 63,000 specimens.
- Large observation deck overlooking the wetlands and the Big Otter River.
- Integrated classroom/laboratory area with adjoining research laboratory.
- Discovery Room designed for K-12 classes, programs, and activities.
- Research laboratory with adjoining chemical and specimen storage room.
- Multi-purpose seminar room with fireplace and access to the deck for meetings, lectures, retreats, and other social events.
- The entire building is heated and cooled by Geothermal Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). This is an alternative method of heating and cooling that uses the earth’s constant temperature below the frost line and significantly reduces our annual electric bills.
Chandler Eco-Lodge opens doors
Jan. 6, 2014 — A new 16-bed facility is now open and providing a place for students and others to stay at the College’s Claytor Nature Study Center.
John E. and Kathryn S. Husted Pavilion
The John E. and Kathryn S. Husted Pavilion facility, located adjacent to the Education & Research Center, serves as an ideal outdoor meeting place for environmental education classes, workshops, and community or family meals.
It is equipped with tables and benches, A/V hookups, and a projection screen.
The pavilion was dedicated on October 18, 2001 in memory of former University of Lynchburg Dean Stewart W. Husted’s parents Dr. John E. Husted (1915-1999), emeritus professor of geology at Georgia Tech and member of the Civil Defense Executive Reserve, U.S. Department of Interior, and Kathryn S. Husted (1919-2000), distinguished elementary school teacher.
Cloverlea Farmhouse and Memorial Gardens
The beautiful farmhouse of Cloverlea offers a stunning panoramic view of the Peaks of Otter and Blue Ridge Mountains. It is available to rent for special events and is a popular wedding venue. The six-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom house is also available for overnight lodging.
Though renovated and added onto over the years, the original farmhouse dates back to the late 1780s. Next to the farmhouse stands one of Virginia’s largest white ash trees.
In memory of Virginia Claytor, the Memorial Gardens were planted near the farmhouse. Landscaping includes a variety of plants, flowers and herbs.
Visitors may tour the grounds and gardens during normal operating hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days. The grounds may be closed to the public for private events.
Nature Trails located near the farmhouse include the Bog Garden Trail and Pine Forest Trails.
Weddings and Photography at Cloverlea
We offer special wedding packages for couples who wish to celebrate their big day at Cloverlea. We can accommodate up to 200 guests, with several beautiful outdoor ceremony location options and our outdoor reception space adjacent to the gardens, where a tent is usually situated.
There are endless picturesque spots for professional photography sessions within the gardens and grounds of Cloverlea, and we can accommodate these sessions during and after normal hours.
For pricing and scheduling information about weddings, special events, overnight lodging, and photography sessions at Cloverlea, please email email@example.com.
The campground includes a communal area with a large central fire ring, four campsites, and an outdoor amphitheater (capacity 40 people).
Each of the four campsites is equipped with a table, a metal fire ring, and a 12 x 12-foot tent pad. The campground is conveniently located near bathrooms, showers, and a pavilion.
Horticulture Research Area
Near the north entry gate, the Horticulture Research Area is being used as a Beautiful Gardens program evaluation site.
Research is conducted on plant species that can thrive in the local soil and weather conditions.
The site is maintained by members of the Virginia Master Gardeners Association.