Who we are & what we do
Established in 1968, the Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 residential environmental learning center (RELC) and green retreat & conference center on Grindstone Lake near Sandstone, MN – 90 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We offer a great variety of outdoor and environmental education experiences for people of all ages – youth, families and adults – and are an ideal K12 school field trip and student travel destination. In addition to our on-site programs and camps, ACNW provides outreach programs throughout the region. All of our facilities are also available for rental – perfect for hosting your own retreat or conference at our beautiful 780-acre lakeside location.
Our Mission: To instill a connection and commitment to the environment in people of all communities through experiential learning.
Our Vision: A healthy planet where all people live in balance with the Earth.
Learn more about us→
Happenings at the Center
Why Choose Us?
Beautiful 780-acres lakeside sanctuary with over 7 miles of trails
through a variety of habitat and ecosystems. Centrally located just 90 miles north of the Twin Cities and 70 miles south of Duluth, our location can’t be beat – close to home yet far enough away! Save time and travel costs. View map and driving directions→
We offer a multitude of programming options for all ages – wildlife, natural history, science, team-building, challenge courses, outdoor skills and environmental education. ACNW is the ideal school field trip choice – most of our K12 classes are aligned with MN Academic Standards. See all of our program options→
The Audubon Center has made it a top priority to “walk the walk” and we have implemented a great variety of energy conservation measures and renewable energy sources including a geo-thermal heat pump system, solar PV arrays, solar hot water heating, solar air heat, and a wind generator. Learn more→
What Our Visitors Say
“I didn’t know what to expect. I was blown away! It was a terrific experience–I would definitely recommend to others.”
“All the staff went above and beyond! We are so appreciative of this quality learning experience.”
“Great patience with kids. I would recommend ACNW to anyone looking to safely experience MN outdoors. Classy organization. An absolute pleasure.”
Have you visited ACNW and enjoyed your stay? We invite you to leave review on Google, Facebook, Yelp and/or other review sites to help us spread the word!
ACNW is an approved Thrivent Choice Dollars Charity