Through a variety of tours, groups can experience some of the Arboretum’s 65 acres of gardens and 10 miles of hiking trails in a whole new way! Guided tours require a $5 per person fee (minimum fee of $50) which includes the parking fee for that day. All group programs require at least three week notice, a completed Group Program Reservation form and $50 deposit. The deposit will be applied toward the total invoice for the program. Refunds are given for deposit in the case of inclement weather. Group tours are wheelchair accessible. Please dress comfortably for your tour. To reserve your tour, please complete your application and mail it along with your $50 deposit to: Group Tours, The North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, N.C. 28806. Checks should be made payable to The North Carolina Arboretum Society. Tour options include:
Guided Garden Tour
Begin your tour at the Baker Exhibit Center. A Garden Guide will lead the group through three acres of exhibit gardens and may include descriptions of garden design, seasonal plants, the Arboretum’s history, art and general gardening information. Gardens on the tour include the Heritage Garden, signature Quilt Garden, Stream Garden, Bonsai Exhibition Garden (general information only) and the Plants of Promise Garden. Large groups will be divided into groups of 12 to 15 persons and tours last 1-1.5 hours. Please allow extra time for lunch at the Savory Thyme Café and the Connections Gallery gift shop. Book a Guided Garden Tour now! 10 person minimum, 60 person maximum, $5 per person.
Guided Trail Tour
A Trail Guide will lead small groups on one of the Arboretum’s many trails, highlighting the plant and animal communities as well as the natural history of the region. Get close to the creek and out in the woods in a safe and beautiful environment! Large groups will be divided into groups of 15. Please plan for a 1.5 to 2 hour walk over a 1 to 2 mile route. Book your Guided Trail Tour today! 10 person minimum, 45 person maximum, $5 per person.
Specialty Tour – Production Greenhouse
Visit the 7,200 square foot production greenhouse and learn how plants are produced for use at the Arboretum. Details on the integrated pest management program and use of beneficial insects will also be discussed. Tours are wheelchair accessible and not recommended for individuals that cannot stand for 1 hour tour. Tours are scheduled Monday- Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Reserve your group’s Greenhouse Tour here. 10 person minimum, 30 person maximum. Larger groups will be divided. $125 per group.
Specialty Tour – Bonsai Exhibition Garden
Learn more about the Arboretum’s renowned bonsai collection by visiting the garden with the bonsai curator. Tours offered Monday – Friday. Tours are one (1) hour. Reserve a specialty tour of the Bonsai Exhibition Garden here. No minimum. 40 person maximum. $125 per group
Other specialty tours such as the Germplasm Repository are available by special request and require a three to four week notice.