The Claytor Nature Center is gradually reopening from our COVID-19 closure. Visitors are now welcome, but by appointment only. To visit, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation and information about conditions and restrictions.
Free and open to the public, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., 7 days a week. Occasional closures to the public for special events and holidays.
Located at: 1844 Woods Rd, Bedford, VA 24523
The University of Lynchburg Claytor Nature Center is a testament to preservation and conservation.
Through the vision and generosity of the late A. Boyd Claytor III, the 18th century farm and plantation house were given to the University of Lynchburg to serve as an education and research center for environmental study and to preserve the land for future generations.
Located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Claytor Center encompasses freshwater streams, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, rare plants, wildlife, and a portion of the Big Otter River.
A hiking trail system, small-group campground, and amphitheatre are other features of the property. The Virginia Claytor Memorial Gardens, created in memory of the late Mrs. Claytor, form a series of formal flower, herb, and shrub plantings.
In 2016, Lynchburg College alumnus Bob Kibler donated 21 acres of land to expand the Claytor Center to its current 491 acres.
- A. Boyd Claytor III Education and Research Facility, a 7,700-square-foot multi-purpose building, offers Lynchburg students and regional K-12 students and teachers an ideal location for learning with seminar, laboratory, classroom, conference, and retreat space.
- Belk Astronomical Observatory provides a virtually unobstructed view of the night sky along the full horizon.
- Cloverlea, the original farmhouse, is a scenic venue for special events.
Sound environmental stewardship governs all uses of the Center.
The land is managed for environmental conservation and restoration through agreements with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The farmhouse, cemetery, and other historic structures will be preserved and documented as part of an ongoing study of the cultural history of the area.