The Duke Forest is owned and managed by Duke University.  It consists of over 7,000 acres of forested land and open fields in Durham, Orange, and Alamance counties.  It has been managed for teaching and research purposes since 1931.

Navigate using the links on the left and above to learn more about the history and impact of the Forest and about our team. If you are interested in keeping in touch, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media to hear the latest news about events, management activities, and volunteer opportunities.


The mission of the Duke Forest is to facilitate research that addresses fundamental and applied questions across a variety of disciplines and to aid in the instruction of all students in their pursuit of knowledge, especially regarding the stewardship of our natural resources.

Management of the Forest is guided by a comprehensive plan that promotes the Forest’s academic mission while ensuring the protection of its natural resources. The Duke Forest also provides education and outreach through tours and volunteer events and offers nature-based recreation opportunities that do not conflict with its mission and management.

The work of the Duke Forest aligns with the mission of the Duke Climate Commitment, which unites the university’s education, research, operations and public service missions to address the climate crisis. The commitment builds on Duke’s longstanding leadership in climate, energy and sustainability to educate a new generation of climate-fluent innovators and create equitable solutions for all.

Strategic Plan

In 2016 and 2017, with extensive stakeholder feedback, we created our five year (2017-2022) Strategic Plan. To learn more about our vision priorities for the future of the Duke Forest, please read our 2017 Duke Forest Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan Overview
Full Strategic Plan

Learn More

  • There is always something interesting happening in the Forest. See our Calendar to learn more.
  • To dive into a multimedia experience about the history of the Duke Forest’s research, read “Duke’s biggest, oldest laboratory” in Duke Stories.
  • For some quick fun facts about the Duke Forest, click here
  • And for announcements about management or other activities that may affect normal use of the Forest, visit our Facebook page.

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