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Field Trips & Tours

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Guided tours of the Fisher Museum and Harvard Forest's natural history trails and research sites can be arranged for a moderate fee, which you can learn about at the bottom of this page. 

Tours range from 2-4 hours and are individually tailored to each group's background and interest. Groups may request special visits to certain habitats or study areas. Occasionally, scientsts are available to meet with groups, but more traditionally, tours are led by education staff. 

Please note: There is extremely limited staff time available for guided tours for the remainder of 2017.  K-12 field trips are full through Nov. 1, 2017.

Special limited-time tour offer: From October 8, 2017 through November 2018, we are offering a limited number of 2.5-hour guided tours (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays) of the Hemlock Hospice art installation by David Buckley Borden. These tours are separate from the 'typical tour' listed below, and have a separate fee ($300). They are only available for group sizes under 25. If you are interested, please contact A self-guided version of the installation will be available as a free map and pamphlet in the Fisher Museum through Nov. 2018. 

A Typical Tour

  • 15-minute film in the Fisher Museum, describing the history, forest management, and long-term ecological research of the Harvard Forest
  • 30-minute to 1-hour tour of the Fisher Museum dioramas, emphasizing the land-use history of the region and its role in ecological research
  • 45-minute to 1.5-hour outdoor tour of the natural history trails and/or research sites

We have two virtual tours that can help you prepare for your visit! 

To set up a tour, first call (978) 724-3302 or email Once you have spoken with a Harvard Forest education representative, please make a reservation using our online system. PLEASE NOTE: Spring and fall tours -- especially on weekends -- are limited, and they book months in advance. 

Nature trails with interpretive natural history signs are also available 365 days a year for self-guided exploration.


Our primary mission at Harvard Forest is research and education for Harvard University students. Field trips for other groups - of all ages and from around the world - are led by a small group of devoted, knowledgeable, but extremely part-time employees. To cover staff time and facilities upkeep, we must charge visiting groups a fee (see below). If your school's budget cannot cover the full fee, we may be able to offer a fee reduction. Call (978) 724-3302 or email

We appreciate your support as we continue to engage a wide variety of students in the many lessons available in our Museum, research sites, and natural history trails.

Tour Fees for 2018

  • Guided field trip (2-4 hours) for 1-25 visitors: $235
  • Guided field trip for 26-49 visitors: $470 (NoteMaximum group size for K-12 field trips is 35 students)
  • Guided staff tour of the Hemlock Hospice exhibit ONLY (2.5 hours; Oct. 8, 2017 through Nov. 2018; for groups with fewer than 25 attendees ONLY): $300

Please note: A limited number of 7th -12 grade field trip scholarships are available for 2018.  Field trips are available in two locations: the Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts or Highstead in southern Connecticut.   Preference is given to schools with a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch. The scholarship covers on-site student data collection materials and the tour fee. Reimbursement for busing is also available.

Scholarships are now available for educators wishing to bring middle and high school classes for a guided field trip to explore the forest and Fisher Museum, and to collect data as part of an authentic ecological field study.