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Field Trips & Tours

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PLEASE NOTE: In compliance with Harvard University policy to reduce the risk of COVID-19, Harvard Forest office buildings and the Fisher Museum are closed to the public until further notice.

Recreational trails will remain open to the public.

Questions? Email HFoutreach@fas.harvard.edu or call 978-724-3302.

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. All guided tours are virtual in Fall and Winter 2020-2021.

Please be advised of changes to our reservation capacity for 2020-2021 conferences and guided tours

  • Conferences are currently unavailable through winter 2021.
  • University and adult tours are available VIRTUALLY. Click here for available dates & times (Sept. 2020 note: our calendar and reservation system is currently down. Please email hf-edu@fas.harvard.edu with questions/inquiries in the meantime!)
  • K-12 tours are currently unavailable through winter 2021. 
  • Self-guided tours that include the Fisher Museum are currently unavailable, although our trails remain open during COVID closures.

Part of a tour at Harvard Forest

COVID-Era Tours (Fall and Winter 2020-2021)

Interactive virtual tours are led by scientists and educators at the Harvard Forest. They run up to 1 hour in length and focus on an intensive eastern hemlock research area at the Harvard Forest, with guided exploration and opportunities for Q&A with students about:

  • long-term carbon research in forest air and soils
  • forest phenology (seasonal change)
  • the region's major drivers of forest change, with a focus on invasive species and climate
  • what we're learning from the Harvard Forest "mega-plot" study area

Content is somewhat modular and, upon request, may also include information about natural history (with connections to the Fisher Museum dioramas), plant identification, and related topics.

A Typical Tour Outside COVID-Era

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. 

  • 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! 

Reservation Process

To inquire about a virtual tour, please contact hf-edu@fas.harvard.edu. 

A field trip at Harvard Forest

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

Tour Fees

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 hf-edu@fas.harvard.edu

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 2020-2021

  • Guided, real-time virtual tour & Q&A (1 hour): $100