Mt. Pleasant

Located on 232 acres of rolling hills with a variety of habitats, the Conservancy is ideally suited for nature study and exploration. Home to more than 140 species of birds and wildlife, offering beautiful vistas of the Patapsco Valley, and all just 15 minutes from Columbia. Here, history and nature set the pace for your learning experience.

View our Visitor Guide!

Hiking and Exploring

Pets must be leashed at all times, and dog waste must be disposed of properly. No horses, bicycles or motorized vehicles allowed.

Nature and Wildlife
  • Learn about our animals with this walking tour guide – Visit our Animal Residents. The Conservancy is home to goats, chickens, a tree frog, diamondback terrapin, barred owl and black rat snake.
  • Discover our Butterfly Garden, founded by Girl Scout Troop #1744. Click here to read the full history of this beautiful habitat.
  • View the Howard County Bird Club’s Site Guide to the Howard County Conservancy site also called Mt. Pleasant. Bring it with you or view it before you come so you are on the lookout for these species.
Grounds and Facilities
  • Our newly expanded Nature Center and offices are open Monday through Saturday, 9am-3pm, closed Saturdays during the winter.
  • Walk on our trails to Hodgepodge Lodge – the cabin from one of the first nature TV shows for children.
  • Visit our Gift Shop on the upper level of the Gudelsky Environmental Center.
  • Explore historic Montjoy Barn and farm outbuildings.
  • Visit out Bank barn to see our solar panel display.
  • Walk around the back of our Farmhouse to see the display window showing the original logs dating back 300 years for Thomas Brown’s log cabin.
  • If you are planning a group (6 or more) visit to Mt Pleasant, please call our offices a day or two before to confirm there are no Conservancy field trips or events that would conflict with your visit.

Now showing in the Gudelsky Gallery

Posed/Commercial Photographers: All photographers MUST obtain an Annual Photo Pass before coming onsite. See full photography policy here.

Hunting: The Conservancy allows a qualified hunting group to carry out managed hunts on our grounds during hunting season. Signage will be placed when the hunters are on the premises. On the weekend dates while hunters are onsite, cones will be placed across our driveway with signage indicating that a hunt is in progress. On weekdays, signage will be placed at the trail heads indicating a hunt is in progress. We will list dates of hunts in advance in the kiosk in the parking lot and below.

We work closely with the Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks and the MD Department of Natural Resources with their deer management guidelines. A healthy deer population is approximately 15 deer per square mile, but the 2017 deer survey shows 61 deer per square mile at Mt. Pleasant. This dramatic overpopulation has many negative consequences to the environment and the community, including disease, car accidents, crop damage, and more. If you are interested in learning more about the DNR management guidelines, please visit:

Our grounds, trails and buildings will be closed to the public on the following days: 

February 2 & February 16