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

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDGIF encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.


The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on the James Madison University campus in Harrisonburg is an oasis of serentity 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 divesity 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-breated 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.

From the Previous Site on the Lost Shoe Loop of VBWT:

From Long Run Road, continue south n Rt. 612 3.7 miles to the stop sign. Turn right and continue 1.5 miles to US 33. Travel East on US 33 for 11.3 miles, crossing over I-81, to the light at University Blvd. At the light turn right then travel 1.1 miles to the Arboretum and the first or second stone gated entrance on the left.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 568-3194, mahonjs@jmu.edu
  • Website
  • Season:
  • Access: Free, Daily - Dawn to Dusk

10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird

  • Canada Goose
  • Mallard
  • Mourning Dove
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Carolina Wren
  • European Starling

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Environmental Study Area
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms