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North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville

Also see: Arboretum Events | Arboretum Special Exhibits | Arboretum Spring Shows | Arboretum Orchid Show | Arboretum Fall Events | Winter Lights | More Outdoor Guides | Botanical Gardens of Asheville | Bird Watching | Blue Ridge Parkway | Top 60 Hikes | Biltmore Summer Garden Photos | NC Mountain Conservancy & Protection Groups | Lake Lure Flowering Bridge | Stargazing
NC Arboretum Quilt Garden
The Arboretum Quilt Garden

NC Arboretum
There are many benches so you can fully enjoy the gardens and art.

NC Arboretum

NC Arboretum

NC Arboretum

Winter Lights
Winter Lights: Mid November-December

NC Arboretum Community Partner

We are so lucky to have the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. Working on a home garden project and need some design and plant ideas? Looking for a beautiful place to stroll, hike or bike? Want to get some gardening tips at a demonstration? Be sure to visit this 434-acre public garden in the Pisgah National Forest, located at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway in south Asheville.

Surrounded by the dense folds of the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the NC Arboretum is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America.

A center for education, research, conservation and economic development, and garden demonstration, the Arboretum offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. Stop by the Information Desk at the Baker Exhibit Center to pick up a brochure listing educational programs, tours, garden demonstrations and workshops. They also have some great art to admire.

Special Events & Exhibits
There are many throughout the year, at no extra cost. See their Calendar of Events & Current Exhibits. And see our special guide to their Spring Flower Shows and Fall Events at the Arboretum. For the holiday season, see the beautiful Winter Lights extravaganza.

Garden Areas
Blue Ridge Court: A central point of the Grand Garden Promenade and features a naturally dwarfed American Beech in the center of a garden pool.

Heritage Garden: The chimney and stone foundations and water spring recall features of old homestead sites. The garden includes plants used in the region's medicinal herb and craft industries.

Holly Garden: Shows a variety of plants in the holly genus that can be grown in this area.

Plants of Promise Garden: This 1/2 acre garden at wood's edge features promising landscape plants appropriate for the Southern Appalachian region and ways to use stone in the garden.

Quilt Garden: A floral representation of a traditional quilt pattern, complete with a stone overlook.

Stream Garden: Planted primarily with native plants, this garden represents a Western North Carolina mountain stream and the plant communities of stream sites.

Perennial Border at the Greenhouse: A gardener's ultimate full sun perennial border that provides beauty and interest throughout the growing season with special fall emphasis.

National Native Azalea Repository: Established to help preserve and protect native azaleas with fifteen species native to the United States. Travel Guide is delighted to be a Community Partner at the North Carolina Arboretum!

North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville
The Quilt Garden changes seasonally.

Bonsai North Carolina Arboretum
Bonsai Exhibition Garden showcases 50 Bonsai specimens.

See 100 quality display specimens in the impressive and fascinating bonsai collection at The North Carolina Arboretum. There are more than 100 others in various stages of development. All of the plants in this extensive collection have been either donated by private individuals or created at the Arboretum from seedlings, cuttings, nursery culls or plants collected from the landscape.

The Arboretum’s bonsai collection is botanically diverse. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm; tropical plants such as willow leaf fig and powderpuff; and American species such as baldcypress and limber pine. Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge region, such as American hornbeam and eastern white pine, which enable the Arboretum to bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina.

NC Arboretum
See rotating art and educational exhibits. Read about the current exhibits.

NC ArboretumNC Arboretum
The Connections Gallery offers a vibrant variety of fine art and crafts created by local and regional artists, as well as items related to seasonal exhibits. Special plant sales are held several times each year, including wonderful Spring Flower Shows.

North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville

Hiking & Biking
There are many trails to choose from, including many easy walking trails and easy to moderate mountain bike trails. The Natural Garden Trail is 3/4 mile walking trail that makes a loop from the Plants of Promise Garden to the north end of the Core Area Gardens.

The Carolina Mountain Trail connects the Horticulture Support Facility (greenhouse and nursery) with the Education Center and Core Garden areas and Bent Creek Road. This trail winds through three different forest types, pine, mixed hardwood and ericaceous. Along the trail is an overlook where hikers can rest and listen to the murmurs of Bent Creek. You'll also pass the peaceful ripples of the Wolf Branch cascades. The trail entrances are located beside the Education Center adjacent to the reserved parking area, on Wolf Branch Road and on Bent Creek Road at the west edge of the Arboretum property. A short connector runs from the overlook to the Horticulture Support Facility main parking area. The Carolina Mountain Trail is 1.2 miles in length.

There are many more trails in the surrounding Bent Creek. See our guide to Bent Creek Biking & Lake Powhatan Camping.

North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville
Art at The North Carolina Arboretum honors and preserves the unique cultural and natural heritage.

NC Arboretum

Fall Color
The fall brings a vibrant color show. See more.

NC Arboretum Fast Facts
Property Hours: Open daily, weather permitting, except Christmas Day, 8 a.m.–9 p.m., April–October, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. November–March

  • Education Center open Monday–Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m. (Closed some holidays)
  • Baker Exhibit Center open Monday–Saturday 9 a.m–5 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m.(Closed some holidays.)
  • Bonsai Exhibition Garden open Monday–Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday noon–5 p.m. (Closed some holidays.)

Admission 2015: Free, but there is a parking fee. $12 per personal motor vehicle, $50 15-seat passenger van, $100 motorcoaches. Parking is $6 on the first Tuesday of each month. No charges apply for pedestrians, bicyclists or North Carolina Arboretum Society members.

NC Arboretum Society Membership: In appreciation for their support, Members receive special benefits such as free parking, discounts at gift shop and for education programs, special mailings, member events, a monthly e-newsletter and reciprocal privileges with more than 200 American Horticultural Society gardens nationwide. For information, call the Membership Department, (828) 665-2492, x211.

Pets: Dogs on leashes are permitted on the grounds, but not in some garden areas. Service or guide dogs only are allowed in buildings.

Picnics: Informal picnicking permitted on the grounds. No alcoholic beverages.

Wheelchair Access: The buildings, gardens and some trails are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available free of charge onsite, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Directions: The NC Arboretum is located off N.C. Highway 191, south of Asheville. From I-26, take exit 33; from I-40, use exit #47 (Farmers Market). From both these exits, follow Blue Ridge Parkway (and 191 South) signs to the Parkway entrance ramp. Arboretum entrance is immediately on the right, after exiting onto the ramp. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, take Milepost 393 exit. The Arboretum entrance is on the left, at the end of the ramp.

Telephone: 828-665-2492 | Click here to visit their Web site


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