COVID-19 Precautions Update: In accordance with CDC and state of NC guidelines regarding outdoor activities and spread of the coronavirus, Duke University no longer requires masks to be worn outdoors except in crowded areas or where social distancing is not possible. Adequate spacing (at least six feet of social distancing) should still be given AT ALL TIMES to other visitors of the Duke Forest and of Duke University’s Al Buehler Trail. See Duke’s latest update from May 3rd by clicking below.

The Office of the Duke Forest is thrilled to announce that 2021 marks the 90th anniversary of the Duke Forest Teaching and Research Laboratory. As the year progresses you will see archival photos, special posts and videos, and other ways that we will highlight this storied Duke University asset. Stay tuned to our monthly e-News newsletter newsletter for more exciting ways to celebrate this unparalleled land base with us! 

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 serves as an outdoor recreation destination for the local community.

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

Land Acknowledgement

We are fortunate to have Dr. Nicki Cagle on our Advisory Committee who among other titles is the Nicholas School’s Director of Undergraduate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As part of a larger effort to recognize and hold up those that have called the Duke Forest home or that have an ongoing relationship with the land, she produced a land acknowledgement statement. We hope you check it out and stay tuned for more ways we are working to better understand and reveal the stories of all the people that have shaped the Duke Forest.

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.

Comments are closed.