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Are you looking for a place to escape from the city but don’t want to travel far, look no further than the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens.
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails for you to explore and enjoy. From the trailhead next to the parking lot, a stabilized walkway encircles a beautiful two-acre lake. This trail gently descends about 25 feet from to the foot of the lake and then returns up a gentle slope on the opposite side to the trailhead. Interpretive signs and over 100 labeled plants enhance the loop.
This gem of a park is located in Arlington, just 10 minutes or so from the Downtown area and just off of I-295 on the east side of the city. The Arboretum has more than 126 acres with 7 designated trails to explore. Whether you want to take a quick break or a whole afternoon, you’ll enjoy the time you spend exploring. Bring your family and friends along for the outing. Even better, you can bring those furry friends along for the adventure, because the Arboretum is pet friendly! Just make sure you bring the leashes and doggie bags.
While the regular admission is $3 per person, children 3 years or younger are admitted free. Admissions will be collected at a drive-up payment station inside the front gate. Visitors can also purchase a membership online, with a membership card sent to their smartphone or laptop. Visitors who have an annual membership can make unlimited visits to the arboretum throughout the year
After parking in the designated lot, start the day off by checking out the trail board located at the front entrance of the Arboretum. Here is where you will find information about the Arboretum and what you will be seeing throughout the Arboretum and Gardens. Decide which trail you will take and note that trails can connect to extend the distance. There are self-guided trail markers along the way as well as lots of signage for different plants, so plenty of opportunity for an educational visitor experience.
You will fall in love with the Arboretum as you roam around seeing and learning about the plant life as well as the history of the Arboretum. Between 1941 and 1961, the Arboretum was a home to a gold mining company which explains the uneven terrain. There are wooden bridges throughout the trails.
You can’t leave with taking a picture of the loblolly bay tree. It is the largest in the nation. After the trails, take a break at one of the many outlook points around the 2-acre lake. It’s the perfect place to catch your breath and stay hydrated. Looking for some more shade? There is a pavilion on the lake where you can sit and enjoy the beautiful view. Once you take your first trip to the Arboretum, we guarantee you will become a return visitor. Post photos of the Arboretum using the hashtag #jacksonvillearboretum and #onlyinjax.
Local Expert-Only in Jax