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Arnold Arboretum Tour

Easy/Intermediate
 3.3 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Stroll through majestic groves of varying tree and plant species along paved, mulched, and dirt trails.


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Map Key

3.6

Miles

5.7

KM

Loop

226' 69 m

High

46' 14 m

Low

282' 86 m

Up

282' 86 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

10%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Views

ADA Accessible Many of the paths within the Arnold Arboretum are flat and smooth. This hike can certainly be adapted to stay entirely on accessible trails.

Family Friendly A mix of paved, mulch, and dirt trails with numerous options to lengthen or shorten the total distance.

Overview

Another gem in the Emerald Necklace, Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum provides visitors with a peaceful opportunity to discover hundreds of plant species. This loop hike combines the mulched, dirt, and paved walking paths for a complete tour of the arboretum with opportunities to further explore certain areas or take shortcuts for an abbreviated version.

With the number of different tree species found in the arboretum, parts of the property can make you feel like you've left Massachusetts, or definitely make you feel like you aren't anywhere near the bustling downtown of Boston.

Need to Know

Open sunrise to sunset, every day of the year. Restrooms at Hunnewell Building accessible during weekdays starting at 9 am.

Description

From the parking area at the Hunnewell Building off Arborway, head southwest (away from Arborway) toward the Linden Path on your right. This path dives into the trees toward the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection (open mid-April - early November) and Dana Greenhouse. Turn left (south) and then right (west) toward Bussey Hill, with the option to take the Bussey Hill path to the summit.

Continue along Valley Road, and look for the Conifer Path on your right, which connects with Bussey St. From here, continue south onto the paved Peters Hill Rd. pathway as it circles around the southernmost section of the arboretum. Back at Bussey St., head northeast onto the paved Hemlock Hill Rd. pathway along Bussey Brook. At the next intersection with Valley Rd., continue straight across onto the Beech Path.

At the end of the Beech Path, turn right toward Dawson Pond, linking up with the Forest Hills/Meadow Rd Walking Path. Passing groups of maple, willow, and cork, you'll see the meadow on your right as you retrace your steps to the Hunnewell Building.

Flora & Fauna

Large populations of beech, oak, lilac, and crabapple.

History & Background

Established in 1872 when the property was deeded to Harvard University with instructions to create and support an arboretum in honor of the previous property holder, James Arnold.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 3 votes

#4536

Overall
  3.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#56

in Massachusetts

#4,536

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Photos

Boston Skyline from summit of Peters Hill
Feb 13, 2020 near Jamaica…, MA
Oak Collection
Feb 13, 2020 near Jamaica…, MA
Arnold Arboretum Oaks
Feb 13, 2020 near Jamaica…, MA
Peters Hill
Feb 13, 2020 near Jamaica…, MA
Oak Path
Feb 5, 2020 near Jamaica…, MA
Bussey Brook Meadow
Feb 13, 2020 near Jamaica…, MA

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Mar 22, 2020
Jamie Marshall