THE SCHIELE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

The Schiele Museum of Natural History is the best science and the natural history museum located west of Charlotte in Gaston County offering exceptional educational programs, exhibits, and more.

The Schiele Museum of Natural History is only one of 70 museums in the U.S. designated as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and features the largest collection of mounted land mammals in the Southeast, from common raccoons to huge buffalo. Experience galleries with vivid natural history exhibits, plus outdoor recreations of a Catawba Indian Village and an 18th Century Farm. Discover our planetarium, Stone Age site, nature trail, live animal enclosures and many other interactive exhibits. Fun for all ages!

The Museum

Retiring from the Boy Scouts to become a ranger-naturalist at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a love of the outdoors and his hometown led Bud Schiele and his wife, Lily, to leave their lifelong collection of mammals, birds, rocks, minerals and photographs for the public to enjoy. Everything they gathered was given to what is now the Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. Bring yourself closer to nature with exceptional exhibits and programming that highlights the natural wonders and rich history of North America, North Carolina and the region. You’ll be amazed as you make your way through the dioramas and installations in the permanent, featured and outdoor galleries. View the night sky and learn about the vastness of the universe at the Planetarium. See planets, moons, galaxies, comets, asteroids and black holes play across the domed ceiling in three different shows.

Field Trips
Field trips to The Schiele Museum are an exceptional way to supplement classroom instruction to meet state standards for curriculum and instruction. Students will have access to permanent exhibits, traveling exhibits, the outdoor spaces on the nature trail, museum store, an array of educational programs, and an immersive dome theatre experience in the planetarium if they choose to take advantage of the diverse experiences available at The Schiele Museum.

Outdoor Exhibits

Take the Nature Trail a 0.7 mile trek, through the woods then stop at Play'Scape a play area for kids located along the trail. The Memorial Wildlife Garden is a wildlife oasis and the Catawba Indian Village is open seasonally. This interpretation of 400 years of Catawba Indian culture, adaptation, and survival is a must see for visitors interested our region's rich heritage. Visit a prehistoric bark-covered house, council house and log cabins. Travel back in time when the stone tools our ancestors used were the cutting edge of technology. Walk among the standing stones, stone circles, earthen burial mound, rock cairn and petroglyphs that give insightful glimpses into our past at the Stone Age Heritage Site. There also is a small farm. This all-new outdoor experience for visitors explores the natural, ever-changing relationships between people, plants, and animals on farms across the history of our region!

VISIT THE SCHIELE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

After your visit go relax in town

Gastonia

After Your Hike Go Relax In Town

Gastonia is the largest town in Gaston County, North Carolina and can be found just south of I-85 off of exit 17 in the center of the county. Hwy 321 runs north and south straight through town giving even better access to this booming metropolis.

EXPERIENCE

Schiele Museum of Natural History

MORE THINGS TO DO

In Gaston County, NC

Centennial Park

Renovated in 2015, Centennial Park serves as the epicenter for entertainment in downtown. Enjoy the park during a special event or relax during the day admiring local art or simply enjoying the pocket of green space in downtown. Explore local businesses while in downtown and use Centennial Park as a place to eat or relax!

114 W Virginia Ave, Bessemer City, NC 28016

Bessemer City

Bridge at High Shoals

As you head out of the county going north along 321 is High Shoals. Visitors enjoy taking pictures of the old truss bridge as well as launching paddle boats to explore the ruins of the iron works.

400 S Lincoln St.

High Shoals

Christmas Town USA

McAdenville’s 650 or so residents go all-out to convert their homes into Christmas Town USA– an achievement that attracts about 600,000 visitors. Drive the half-mile route – free of charge – to see 375-plus trees strung with more than 500,000 red, green and white lights. Christmas Town, USA finished 4th in the “Best Public Holiday Lights Display in the USA” contest, sponsored by USA Today.

McAdenville

Kates Skating Rink

1151 Skating Rink Drive

Lowell

11 Mill Blueway South Fork Trail

A long paddle that will take you almost 9 miles down the South Fork River where you will witness both a beautifully protected shoreline and signs of Gaston's past in the textile industry with plenty of places to stop at parks, restaurants, and breweries along the way.

Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park

Access the Catawba River via canoe, kayak or boat from this 10-acre riverfront park.

1400 Catawba Street

Belmont

Our accommodations are conveniently located close to major highways and include national brands, historic boutiques, bed & breakfasts and Airbnbs.  Whether you are traveling in a large group, a family, or all by yourself, you will find our lodgings to be well appointed with all the amenities you may need for a short or long stay.

PLACES TO STAY

  IT'S TIME TO #GOGASTON  
Share your photos of the Schiele Museum to #GoGaston.
Get your FREE Gaston County Visitors Guide and start planning your vacation today!A printed version of our FREE visitor guide can be sent by mail. Simply fill out and submit the form below.
Gaston County Visitor Guide 2020 Cover.j

VISITORS GUIDE

620 N. Main St.

Belmont, NC 28012

Phone: 704-825-4044

Toll Free: 1-800-849-9994

Visitors Center is closed
until further notice.

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle
  • Pinterest - White Circle

E-NEWSLETTER

©2020 by Gaston County Travel & Tourism. Proudly created by ITI Digital.