Northeastern Ohio boasts one of the country’s largest arboreta

KIRTLAND, Ohio – The Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland, encompasses more than 3,400 acres and is the one of the largest arboreta in the United States.

At the visitor center, you can explore the interactive displays, frequently changing art shows or the annual photography contest exhibit.

Trails, which offer a variety of lengths and difficulty, take visitors through gardens, fields and woods, past ponds and down into the valley.

The collection/display trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Wheelchairs are available for visitors who have difficulty getting around.

The arboretum’s crabapple collection contains 160 varieties that bloom from late April to mid-May.

Golf cart tour.

Guided one-hour golf cart tours are also available. Reservations are recommended for these popular tours. The $2 per person fee is payable at the information desk and must be made 15 minutes prior to tour to confirm reservation.

The cart seats up to five passengers and tours are offered May through October: Tuesday Friday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

Longer hikes.

For the more adventurous hiker, guided hikes are available through Stebbins Gulch and up Little Mountain, the arboretum’s two natural history landmarks. These three-hour hikes take the visitor through geologically and historically significant areas. Access to Stebbins Gulch and Little Mountain is restricted to monthly, guided hikes.

Butterfly garden.

The Arlene and Arthur S. Holden Butterfly Garden is directly behind the visitor center. This garden is over 2 acres and home to two ponds, a waterfall and a profusion of plantings geared to attract caterpillars, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Many gardens are a short walk from the visitor center. The main display garden, is home to lilac, hedge and viburnum collections, and is bordered by the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden. This five-acre garden is devoted to native Ohio wildflowers and protected species, cultivated through the Center for Plant Conservation.

Rhododendron garden.

The Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden is a popular late spring attraction. Twenty acres of rhododendrons, azaleas and mountain laurel provide a dazzling display of color from April through July, peaking in early June.

It is also home to two ancient oak trees, a white oak over 350 years old, and a red oak over 250 years old.

The visitor center is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The grounds and gardens are open dawn to dusk for arboretum members; restrooms adjacent to the visitor center are accessible dawn to dusk.

Brochures and literature are available on everything from the history of Holden to collection information, class schedules, landscape bulletins and trail maps.

Staff is on hand to answer questions and give directions.

Senior Citizens can take advantage of free admission every Tuesday from 1-5 p.m.

For more information or to make reservations call 440-946-4400.

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