June 15, 2021
Best hikes of the season
The Arboretum has 16 miles of beautiful trails to explore. While every season has its unique appeal, the transitional moment between spring and summer is an ideal time to explore the grounds and take in the abundant diversity of all the Arboretum has to offer.
Here are a few staff favorites for this time of year. Take along a map of the Arboretum’s trails, or snap a picture of wayfinding maps along the trails.
East Woods: Look for Virginia bluebells, red trillium, spring beauty, Dutchman’s breeches, and other wildflowers. Starting at the P-8 parking area, hike Joined Loop 3 and 4 to P-12 parking.
East Side Main Loop 1: Azaleas and rhododendrons are in their glory along this trail, which also passes honeysuckles and viburnums. Start the mile-long route at the P-2 or P-5 parking areas.
Heritage Trail: The 1.3 mile Heritage Trail follows the path of history. A giant boulder, Big Rock, was left by the long-ago glacier. Great old bur oaks and walnuts recall the lives of Native Americans who lived in their shade. The trail starts and ends at the Big Rock Visitor Station (P-13 parking area).
Joy Path and the West Side: Start at the Thornhill Education Center (P-21 parking) and follow Joy Path south. It will take you past gardens, as well as flowering crabapples, magnolias, and pears. When you meet a road, follow it east to the Main Route and back to Thornhill.
A half-mile walk around Lake Marmo, starting at P-27 or P-28 parking areas, will take you past redbuds and bluebells.