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Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Garden at James Madison University


The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on the James Madison University campus in Harrisonburg is an oasis of serenity in the midst of a bustling urban landscape. With its forested slopes, lowland swale, pond and forested savannah, the arboretum provides a unique setting for a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Thera are over 3 miles of winding trails to explore the 125-acre woodland preserve. The oak-hickory dominated forest hosts a variety of spring and fall migrants, including blackpoll and bay-breasted warblers. Nesting songbirds include white-eyed and red-eyed vireo, white-breasted nuthatch, eastern towhee, eastern wood-peewee, Acadian flycatcher, Swainson’s thrush and American redstart. The botanical gardens provide an ever-changing display of blooms attracting a myriad of pollinators throughout the growing season. In summer, the pond is home to swarms of dragonflies and damselflies dominated by eastern pond hawk, widow skimmer, common whitetail, and eastern amberwing. If you prefer exploring nature through educational programs, the arboretum offers classes, lectures, tours, travel programs and other special events.


Physical Address: 780 University Blvd, Harrisonburg, VA 22807

From I-81 in Harrisonburg, take exit 245. Turn right onto VA-253 E/Port Republic Rd. Turn left onto Forest Hill Rd., then turn left onto Oak Hill Dr. Continue onto University Blvd. Destination will be on the right in 0.7 miles.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 568-3194,
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily - Dawn to Dusk

Birds Recently Seen at Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Garden at James Madison University (as reported to eBird)

  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Blue Jay
  • Wood Thrush
  • American Robin

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Visitor/Nature Center
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms