Nestled in the middle of Evansville, Indiana, Wesselman Woods is the largest urban old-growth forest in the United States. It is the mission of Wesselman Nature Society to protect the cultural and ecological integrity of this 200-acre forest while providing environmental education and outdoor recreation experiences to enrich the lives of area residents and visitors.

As a State Nature Preserve and National Natural Landmark, Wesselman Woods is a surviving remnant of southern Indiana’s original forests. This urban forest has not been cut in the last 200 years and houses several state- and county-level champion trees. Wesselman Woods is also proud to be home to the Welborn Baptist Foundation Nature Playscape - the largest of its kind in the nation! The Nature Playscape offers five acres of unstructured play and exploration. Within the Nature Playscape, the Bernhardt Family Bird Sanctuary serves as a space for reflection and further bonding with nature.

The Nature Center features exhibits and houses our animal ambassadors – including native species of raptors, snakes, and fish. Learn more about our local ecosystem in our programs for adults and children. Many courses are offered throughout the year including the Indiana Master Naturalist program for adults and educational camps for children.

Our fun, community-driven events like the Maple Sugarbush Festival and Wandering Owl Twilight Tasting have become staples in the Evansville community. Find out more about upcoming events and programs at Wesselman Woods (and our second property, Howell Wetlands) on our website,

Wesselman Woods Annual Events: 

  • Maple Sugarbush Festival (first weekend in March)
  • Earth Day Celebrations (Late April)
  • Wandering Owl Twilight Tasting (Mid-October)


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