The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
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Arb Parking Tip
Free street parking spaces are sometimes available on Oswego St. near the Arb's Geddes Street entrance.
Click here for a map.
Few places on Earth are as beautiful as Michigan on a fine fall day. Stroll through the trails & gardens during the early morning or later afternoon at this special time of year.
Check out the bloom calendar.
the peony garden
Peony Logo
Visit our website for The Peony Garden to find information on the bloom season

Nichols Arboretum


View from overlook at Nichols Arboretum. Click here for more photos of Nichols Arboretum

Explore the Arb as it enters its second century. Throughout the Arb you'll find many special places - far more than shown in the links below. The Arb has extensive but dispersed collections of native and exotic trees and shrubs masterfully crafted into a naturalistic landscape begun by O. C. Simonds in 1907. As you explore you'll find one of the richest landscapes in the region, as well as a complex glacial topography that presents vast panoramas, broad valleys and intimate dales and glens.

Your exploration begins at any of the three entrances:

  • Geddes Avenue - with the ceremonial gates at the very highest point in the Arb and with the commanding view for miles (North Campus is easy to spot)
  • Washington Heights - at mid-elevation next to the James D. Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Education Center near the U-M hospitals. At the Reader Center you'll find restrooms, water, a library, and a sitting room. The Center is open to the public and staffed Tuesday through Sunday.
  • River Entry - where the Huron River enters the Arb

Some people find it easy to 'Get Lost!' at the Arb, but you can always find your way out even if you ignore the maps on site. If you walk downhill to the river, you can follow the river road upstream to the River Entry. Likewise, if you're not near the river, just follow the drives and trails uphill along the valleys and you'll thread your way to either the Washington Heights or Geddes Street entrance. Enjoy!

The Arboretum's displays, natural areas, trails / pathways and James D. Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Education Center invite your exploration and use... Visual and performing arts are important creative activities that help visitors perceive, question, and understand an artist's message... Here you will find a downloadable and printable version of our Nichols Arboretum visitor's guide which includes a map, parking tips, and much more...

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