Fall Colors · Views
Many of the paths within the Arnold Arboretum are flat and smooth. This hike can certainly be adapted to stay entirely on accessible trails.
A mix of paved, mulch, and dirt trails with numerous options to lengthen or shorten the total distance.
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.
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.
Shared By: Zander Göpfert