Exploration Awaits

DROP IN VISITING HOURS: 

Monday – Friday: Open only for designated programming
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Sunday: CLOSED

HOLIDAY CLOSURES

Saturday, May 28th – CLOSED for Memorial Day Weekend
Saturday, July 2nd – CLOSED for 4th of July Weekend
Saturday, September 3rd – CLOSED for Labor Day Weekend

We ask that you check in when you get here and arrive with enough time to make the most of your visit, shop in the farm store (if you would like to do so) and not extend your visit beyond the open hours.

These visits are for self-guided touring only.  If you have a group of 10 or more and would like to schedule a guided tour or field trip, please contact April Hoy at aprilhoy@stratfordecologicalcenter.org

We absolutely LOVE having visitors! We need your help to keep things running smoothly when you visit.  Please take the time to review the guidelines and policies prior to your visit.

THINGS TO DO:

Walk the Trails

Soak in the beauty of the state nature preserve as you explore and admire the seasonal wildflowers along any of our 4 miles of hiking trails.

Visit the Livestock

The animals like to gather in the barn or graze in the pasture.  You can pet and admire them down the visiting lanes of the barn.

Explore the Vernal Pools

We have 2 vernal pools as part of the State Nature Preserve that are home to many salamanders, ducks, frogs and more.

Hike to the Early 1800’s Cemetery

Stratford Cemetery has been restored and preserved by our dedicated volunteers to honor the Veterans buried there.  Learn more here.

Splash in the Creek

Make sure to wear your rain boots or water shoes and have fun getting dirty in the creek hunting for river rocks, fossils, frogs, crawfish, and more. You never know what treasures you might find!

Buzz with the Bees

There are several apiaries throughout Stratford.  Hunt for the Queen Bee in the observation hive located in the barn (only on display seasonally). Can you find her? Learn more about our apiaries program here.

Tour the Gardens and Greenhouses

Check out all of the fresh, seasonal, pick-your-own produce available for purchase. We have scissors available to borrow for harvesting.

Enjoy the Storybook Trail

The Storybook Trail currently follows the Link Trail (starting behind the Education Buildling) and is a great way to connect little ones to nature.  The current featured story is Salamander Dance by David FitzSimmons.  Stories typically change each season.

Shop the Farm Market

On your way out, stop in to take a piece of the Stratford Farm home with you.  Pick up some fresh Stratford honey, syrup, eggs, meat, produce, apparel and more.  We sell other locally made products too!

Spot the Maple Trees

While hiking the trails, especially the Sugar Shack Trail, look for the Sugar Maple Trees used for Maple Sugaring. They’re marked with an orange spot. How many can you find?

Peruse the Pond & Prairie

Relax by the pond as you watch the Purple Martins glide through the air.  Feel free to pack a trash-free picnic lunch to enjoy under the pavilion.

Watch the Chickens Play

Visit the happy chickens running around the pasture.  Listen to the roosters crow.  Our lovely chickens provide us with delicious farm-fresh eggs available for purchase.

We have copies of our property map available to borrow during your visit.  You can also view one by clicking the button below.

OR

The Stratford Ecological Center app is an excellent way to give yourself a free self-guided tour.  The app will allow you to learn a little bit about each area of the farm with an easy to follow map so you can explore at your leisure. The app is free and can be found in your app store by simply searching “Stratford Ecological Center”

Stratford is located just south of the city of Delaware, Ohio – a short distance west of the junction of State Route 23 and State Route 315.  Our address is 3083 Liberty Road, Delaware, OH 43015.  We are a quarter mile north of Bunty Station Road on the right (when headed north) – watch for our sign! Follow the gravel drive through the woods to the parking lot on your right next to the Education Center.  If the lot is full you can park along the fields to the left of the main driveway.

Dress for the weather and don’t be afraid to get dirty when you come to the farm! You’re welcome to explore at your leisure and stay as clean as you can or get as messy as you’d like! If you have little kids who might want to explore in our creek or vernal pools, bringing a change of clothes (especially socks) is highly recommended.

You are also more than welcome to bring a trash-free lunch and enjoy a picnic at the farm.  If the picnic tables on the patio or at the pavilion are not occupied by any educational programming while you’re here you’re more than welcome to use them.  If they aren’t available you can always bring a picnic blanket and enjoy lunch on the lawn.

Below is a list of recommended items for your visit:

  • Hiking or rain boots
  • Long pants are recommended to try to prevent poison ivy – use your own discretion
  • Extra change of socks
  • Extra change of clothes for kids in case they get extra dirty or wet
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen/sun hat (if applicable)
  • Weather appropriate jacket
  • Water bottle
  • Picnic blanket
  • Trash-free lunch
  • Backpack for your gear

We ask that all visitors kindly respect the following policies while visiting the farm:

  • Arrival and Departure: Please check in upon arrival and check out upon departure.  In case of an emergency, we need to have a record of everyone who is on the property. We also ask that you please be respectful of the visiting hours and to not extend your visit past the open hours
  • Signage: Please pay close attention to the signage posted around the farm.  This is a working farm; the signage communication is for the safety of our visitors, volunteers, staff, and livestock.
  • Visiting the Animals: Animal enclosures are closed to public visitation and should not be entered without a Stratford guide. You are welcome to go down the designated visiting lanes in the barn, but please make sure to close the gates behind you
  • Educational Programming: Programs like Farm School or field trips may be happening during your visit – they have access to certain areas that public visitors do not because they are with a Stratford guide. Please be respectful of their programs and educational space.
  • Wildflowers: Please do not pick the wildflowers – enjoy them in your eyes and your mind where they can last forever, not in your hand where they will quickly die.
  • Electric Fences: The pastures are surrounded by live electric fences – please do not touch
  • Smoking: Smoking is prohibited throughout all of Stratford
  • Pets: Pets are not permitted
  • The Farmer’s Property: Please do not go near or into the farmer’s house, greenhouse, or garden located on the south side of the property
  • Most Importantly: Connect with Mother Nature and have fun!