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.
Art at The North Carolina Arboretum honors and preserves the unique cultural and natural heritage.
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.)
- Greenhouse open Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–2 p.m. (Closed on all holidays.
Admission: Free, but there is a parking fee. $8 per personal motor vehicle, $30 commercial vehicles, $50 motorcoaches/buses. Parking is free all day 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. New NC Art Book raising money for NC Arboretum Society.
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.