For more than 35 years… Cultivating Connections between People, Plants and Places…amid a 434-acre public garden, The North Carolina Arboretum is located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest just south of Asheville and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393. Surrounded and crisscrossed by forested coves and meandering creeks in the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum is set in one of the most beautiful natural settings in America.
The Arboretum was established as an affiliate of the University of North Carolina System by the State General Assembly in 1986, nearly a century after Frederick law Olmsted, the Father of American Landscape Architecture, first envisioned a research arboretum as part of his legacy and plan for George Vanderbilt at Biltmore Estate.
Nestled in one of the most botanically diverse and beautiful natural settings in America, The North Carolina Arboretum contains 65 acres of cultivated gardens that delight the senses, pay tribute to the region’s rich cultural heritage and reinforce the importance of plants to our world. Strolling through the Arboretum’s gardens is a perfect way to reconnect with nature in a peaceful setting. Visit the information desk at the Baker Exhibit Center upon your arrival to learn more about the beauty and history that awaits. Visitors from across the world enjoy exploring the Arboretum’s exhibits and gardens, including one of the finest, most unique bonsai collections in the United States.
From April – October, The North Carolina Arboretum offers free weekly guided trail walks on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Walks are limited to 15 people, including the Volunteer Interpretive Guide, and are not recommended for guests under 16 years of age. Topics and trails featured will vary based on weather, trail conditions and each guide’s area of expertise.
There is no pre-registration; walks are first-come first served and sign up sheets are located in the Baker Visitors Center.