Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center

The Rudolph Howell & Son Environmental Learning Center, or Howell Woods, is a unique 2,800-acre natural resource designed to provide excellent recreational and educational experiences while fostering environmental stewardship.

What's happening at Howell Woods?

What’s the deal with Weeds?
August 9th
10am-12pm $10.00
What is a weed? Students will learn common weed identification and discuss mechanical and chemical control.

Non-Native Invasive Plants
August 23rd
10am-12pm $10.00
The expanding presence and influence of non-native invasive plants are having a huge impact on our local landscape and ecosystems. Students will learn to identify some of the most common invasive plant species this area.

Wetland Habitats
September 6th
9am-11am $15.00
70% of the Earth is covered in water, but what lives there, exactly? We’ll discuss the importance of NC freshwater habitats, its inhabitants, and conservation before venturing out to a variety of wetland areas here at Howell Woods. Dress appropriately, as we will take full advantage of each habitat!

Introduction to Map and Compass
September 20th
9am-12pm $15.00
This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning how to navigate through the wilderness using only a compass and map. Students will gain an understanding of map scale and how to follow a determined route using

To register for an event contact Jordan Astoske (919) 938-0115

To see an entire list of programs please click the newsletter link on our Homepage.

Summer Day Camp 2014

At Howell Woods, you can experience a variety of educational programs and recreational activities. See and learn about birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians, or enjoy our wildflower and pollinator gardens.

Go hiking, camping bird watching, hunting, fishing, and more! Lift your spirits, challenge yourself, and learn something in the process!

What Makes Us Different?

Bottomland Hardwood Forest
In 1993, Rudolph Howell donated the property to Johnston Community College with hopes that it be used as an outdoor classroom. Nestled in a natural wooded setting between the Neuse River and Hannah and Mill creeks in southeastern Johnston County, Howell Woods offers a diversity of outdoor experiences and education opportunities for all ages.

Children, adults, and families can explore a diversity of habitats and discover native birds, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians, freshwater fishes and numerous plant species. At Howell Woods, you can find a number of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and biking; ponds and creeks for fishing; sites for camping; as well as controlled hunting areas for feral pig, deer, waterfowl, squirrel, and wild turkey.

The Learning Center showcases exhibits of live animals such as turtles, snakes, and several species of owl as well as a natural resource reference library.

Getting Here

Howell Woods is located at 6601 Devil’s Racetrack Road in the Bentonville community of southeastern Johnston County. The environmental learning center is in close proximity to interstates 95 and 40 in central North Carolina and is less than 45 miles from Raleigh, 20 miles from Goldsboro, and 15 miles from Smithfield and Newton Grove.

If you need help finding us, try the map or use the driving directions.

Our Staff

All extensions from main number (919) 938-0115

Jordan Astoske
(919) 938-0115 ext. 221

Mike Rose
Operations Technician
(919) 938-0115 ext. 223

Stephen Ashby
Operations Technician
(919) 938-0115 ext. 224

Brittany Brenner
Museum Caretaker
(919) 938-0115 ext. 225

Peyton Clark
(919) 938-0115 ext. 222

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Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center
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