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.
In spring, Matthaei and the Arb burst into life. Over 20,000 daffodils in a line emerge and bloom at the Arb The fragrance of lilacs is on the air. Woody plants show off their flowers and the peonies peak in June.
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. Located on the lower level of the Reader Center is our Visitor Center where you will find restrooms, maps and information, as well as a small shop with snack, beverages and gifts. The building is staffed seasonally mid-March through November.
  • 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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