The Conservation of the the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains was given a great boon in 1986 with the establishment of The North Carolina Arboretum. A long time in the making, this refuge for the thousands of plant species unique to the region was first envisioned by the father of American landscape architecture, Fredrick Law Olmsted, over one hundred years ago. Today, his proud vision stands as a 434 acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest, working to foster education and research in the areas of botany, landscaping, and the aesthetic beauty of Southern Appalachian plant life.
An outpouring of support from the University of North Carolina, the government, and the public has allowed the Arboretum to flourish through the years, creating newer and more extensive programs. The Plants of Promise Garden, the National Native Azalea Repository, the Heritage Garden, and the ever changing Quilt gardens are just a few of the many additions made throughout the past couple decades. Through enthusiastic contributions of its supporters, the North Carolina Arboretum now offers the public a wide variety of ways to explore the botanical elegance of the Southern Appalachian region.
The ever-changing Quilt Garden
North Carolina Arboretum
(828) 665-2492 ncarboretum.org
100 Fredrick Law Olmsted Way
Asheville, NC 28806
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Guided Garden Tours
Explore the subtle beauty of the Arboretum's native plants, new cultivators, stream side plants and more through the Arboretum's guided tours. Guided tours are led by the knowledgeable staff of the Arboretum and are offered April-October, Tuesdays through Sundays. Please call at least 3 weeks in advance to arrange a tour.
(828) 665-2492 ex.236
Self-Guided Garden Tours
If you'd like to explore the wonders of Southern Appalachian ecology at your own pace, you will find all the information you need at the Information Desk in the Visitor Education Center Lobby. Property maps and the Arboretum's "Guide to Visiting the Gardens" brochure are available and Arboretum staff will be on hand to help get you started.
The Arboretum maintains a number of trails that offer some of the lushest views in Western North Carolina. Some of the trails are restricted to foot traffic only, however most of the trails do permit bicycles. Hikes range from from the easy Bent Creek Road and Trail to the Moderate to Difficult Wesley Branch Trail.
The Savory Thyme Cafe
The Savory Thyme Cafe's freshly made items are the perfect compliment to the Arboretum's stunning natural setting. The menu features gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, and fresh baked goods along with locally roasted coffee, tea, juices and sodas.
(828) 665.2492 ext. 232
The Garden Trellis Gift Shop
The gift shop boasts a quality selection of books on botany, gardening, local ecology, and more- a perfect gift for the outdoors enthusiast of the family. Also be sure to check out the shops collection of handcrafts from local artists, bonsai tools, and note cards.
(828) 665.2492 ext. 237