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!


After your visit go relax in town

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.


Schiele Museum of Natural History


In Gaston County, NC

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