Schools and youth groups of 10 youth or more wishing to explore the Arboretum on their own may pre-register at a fee of $2.00 per person. School employees who accompany the group are not charged. The parking fee is waived for groups provided registration occurs a minimum of 10 days in advance.

To schedule a visit contact Michelle Pearce, Youth Education Coordinator, at or 828-665-2492 ext. 624.

Groups must arrive at a predetermined time and will be met by a guide, who will provide suggestions for activities and provide a lunch location if needed.

June through August

  • Self-led groups are permitted Monday through Friday

September through May

  • Self-led groups only are permitted Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays only

Self-guided groups are encouraged to:

  • Visit the traveling exhibit at the Baker Exhibit Center
  • Learn how to help scientists study wildlife in the EcoLab
  • Borrow a Discovery Day Pack to aid in exploring the gardens and trails
  • Seek the Arboretum’s geocaches with personal equipment or borrow a geocaching packet
  • Have a picnic lunch in an approved location with access to recycling and composting stations