Tours

participants on a winter walk

Join Us Year Round For Group Walks and Tours

If you have binoculars, please bring them to all walks - they're not just for birdwatching!

Self-Guided Tours

visitor exploring the arboretum on their own

Come for a nature walk along one of many trails and enjoy The Arboretum's wide array of plants and 1,700 species of trees and shrubs. Maps of the site are available at The Arboretum Centre, Hales-McKay Shelter, Information Kiosk (located at The Arboretum pedestrian entrance) and throughout the grounds. You can also download a pdf of the map below this article . Arboretum grounds are open dawn to dusk, year round. Admission is free.

Wednesday Walks

Jason leading a Wednesday Walk

Nature is known to be unpredictable and unexpected, so what awaits us today?  Rachel, the Arboretum's Naturalist Intern, will be leading 1 hour long walks every Wednesday.  Walks start at The Arboretum kiosk at 12:15 p.m.  For further information contact Rachel at rirwin@uoguelph.ca or ext. 52363.  The hike may be cancelled if there is inclement weather.   

We also run Wednesday Evening walks for the months of June, July and August that begin at 7 p.m. at the J.C. Taylor Nature Centre. These 1 ½ hour walks will be on a different topic each week and are $2 / person however children under 5 are free. The following is alisting of our 2018 walks:

Arboretum creek creatures - May 30 - Discover and celebrate the biodiversity found in aquatic  environments  like the Eramosa and Speed River. Come on out to catch, identify, and study the plant and animal life we have in the Arboretum Creek! This week’s walk is running as part of the 2Rivers Festival. Check out their www.2riversfestival.org for more events.

Community & symbiosis - June 6 - Every living thing, both plants and animals alike, belong to a community and are constantly interacting with one another. Some of these interactions are friendly, while some not so much. Let us fill you in on the latest gossip about all the complicated relationships found in nature.

Mother bird knows nest - June 13 - Once upon a time there were three little birds. One bird made its nest out of sticks, the second made theirs out of moss, and the third made theirs out of its own saliva. Different species have unique ways of constructing their homes for different purposes. Let’s explore the incredible world of nest building and find some of these architects and their designs around the Arboretum!

Inspector wildlife - June 20 - Oftentimes we go on hikes and there’s no wildlife to be seen. Where are all the porcupines, coyotes, or owls? With a bit of detective skills, you’ll begin to see that wildlife are leaving evidence everywhere they go! Put on your thinking caps as we link together these clues to discover which animals have been in the area!

It’s getting hot in here - June 27 - Climate change is a hot topic being passed around these days but are we being directly affected even though we’re not in the Arctic or near an ocean? Discover how climate change is affecting plant and wildlife in the Arboretum and find out what you can do to help!

Arbcapella – July 4 - Everytime I go on a walk outdoors, I feel as though I’m in a surround sound theatre. From bird calls in the sky above me to wind rustling through trees behind me, nature has created a symphony of its own. Join us this Wednesday as we listen to the sounds and music found in the Arboretum.

Copy and Paste – July 11 - Have you ever wondered why some moths have spots on their wings that resemble eyes? To mimic other animals, of course! This Wednesday we will be exploring the many different organisms that have learned and adapted to look, smell, or behave like other animals!

All Bark, No Bite – July 18 - How do you properly identify a dogwood tree? By the bark! With about 85 native tree species in Ontario, there is so much to know and remember. Come on out this Wednesday as we branch out our knowledge into the world of trees!

Late Bloomers – July 25 - What happens when all the trees have finished flowering and all the birds have stopped singing? It’s time for the summer wildflowers to shine! They may have taken until the end of summer to bloom, but the gorgeous flowers will be worth the wait. Join us this Wednesday for the sweet sight of summer wildflowers!

More Than Meets The Eye – August 1 - Nature offers so many different landscapes, colours, and beautiful scenery. But have you ever considered how a person who is visually impaired experiences nature? Without sight, all other remaining senses are heightened, allowing you to interact with nature through smells, textures, and sounds. Come out this Wednesday to see how there’s more to nature than meets the eye!

State of the Art – August 8 - From the Group of Seven to Andy Goldsworthy to Claude Monet, whether they painted landscapes or created sculptures only using leaves and rocks, all these artists were inspired by nature in their works.  Join us this Wednesday, talented artist or not, as we let our creative juices flow and create our own artworks inspired by The Arboretum.

Care For The Rare – August 15 - With the conversion of many forests and grasslands into urban and agricultural land, and pollution of aquatic environments, there are more than 200 animals and plants in Ontario listed as a species of risk. Come learn about the rare Ontario species that can be found in the Arboretum and what you can do to help!

I’m Lichen this Fungi – August 22 - Did you know that there are around 130 different species of lichen in Ontario, and 111 of these species have been found in the Arboretum alone? Not only that, 237 species of fungi have also been seen in the Arboretum. This Wednesday we’ll be expanding our knowledge into the little, yet fascinating, world of lichen and fungi.

The Not-So-Creepy Creepy Crawlies – August 29 - When I ask you to think of a cute animal, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A panda? A dog? A bunny? Not many people or even anyone at all would say an insect or spider as their answer. Pandas and dogs are furry and have cute faces, but so can some insects! Join us on our last Wednesday Walk to learn about the diversity and importance of Ontario insect species!

Group Walks

a group of students listen to their hike leader

Enjoy a 1 ½ hour walk led by Arboretum Auxiliary Docents. Registration is required two weeks in advance. $5.00 per person (minimum charge of $60.00 applies to groups fewer than 12 persons). Bus tour groups welcome - complimentary admission for bus driver and tour leader. To book a group walk, call 519-824-4120 ext. 54110 or email arbor@uoguelph.ca.

Interpretive Tours

participants watch songbirds at an arboretum birdfeeder

Led by an Arboretum staff member, your 1-3 hour tour includes interpretations of the use of plants for horticultural or naturalization plantings while touring plant collections and natural landscapes. The tour can also be customized to focus on education, natural history, wildlife or horticulture. Fee is $120.00 for 1 hour, $150.00 for 2 hrs or $210.00 for 3 hours. Maximum 20 participants. Registration is required at least 2 weeks in advance. To book an interpretive tour, call 519-824-4120 ext. 54110 or email arbor@uoguelph.ca.