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

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.

Group Walks

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

Interpretive Tours

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 .

Wednesday Evening Walks

For the months of June, July and August we have Wednesday Evening Walks that will 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. Below is a schedule with the topics for each week:

Wednesday, June 7 - Pollinator Parade - Bees tend to get all the credit when it comes to the topic of pollination. However, there are many other significant pollinating insects and animals that go unnoticed. Let’s give them the attention and appreciation they deserve this Wednesday as we explore the importance of pollinator diversity.

Wednesday, June 14 - Arboretum Creek Creatures - Throw on a pair of rubber boots, grab a net and come “dive” into the Arboretum Creek! We will be catching, identifying and studying the plants and creatures living in the creek. This hands-on workshop is a part of the 2017 2Rivers Festival - check out their website ( for more fun, friendly and free events!

Wednesday, June 21 - Nature Art - Nature is constantly changing and that is something Andy Goldsworthy captures in each of his creations. Using only natural materials he creates sculptures and art within different landscapes that overtime change, decay and disappear - just like all of Mother Nature’s masterpieces. This Wednesday, come channel your inner Andy Goldsworthy and let the forest be your canvas. We will be using materials found throughout The Arboretum to create temporary nature inspired masterpieces. No art background is required!

Wednesday, June 28 - Whose Nose Knows - There are a lot of scents that we associate with summer: the pleasant, earthy smell after rain, fresh cut grass, blooming lilacs, and sunscreen lotion. The human nose can detect one trillion different odours - the nose knows more than we think! Come join us as we get nose-y and investigate the different ways that animals smell the world.

Leave the Log (July 5) – Trees are a symbol of life. They provide the world with oxygen, which is essential for all living organisms. Even after a tree dies and stops producing oxygen, it still supports life and is extremely important to the health of the forest. It is said that there is more life in a dead tree than a living one – don’t believe me? Come check it out for yourself this Wednesday night!

Milkweed… it’s not just for Monarchs (July 12) – When you think of milkweed, you are likely to think of Monarch butterflies because no milkweed = no Monarchs. However, this Wednesday night we are going to take a closer look at our milkweed plants to discover the other life that milkweeds support! But of course, we will look at Monarchs too!

Living things we Love to Hate (July 19) – As much as we’d like to think of ourselves as nature lovers, we don’t love all aspects of nature. There are many things we’d kill without second thought, scream at the sight of, and complain to our neighbours’ about. We tend to fear what we don’t know and understand, so let’s take a fresh look at the world around us and reconnect with our natural curiosity. “Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.” – Karl A. Menninger

I’m lichen it (July 26) – Why did the mushroom get invited to this Wednesday night walk? Because he’s a fungi!!! Don’t worry, you’re all invited too and I promise this walk will be better than my jokes! I’ve taken a lichen to the world of fungus and by the end of the night, I’m sure you will have too!

Nature’s ‘True’ Colours (August 2) – Did you know that Blue Jays are not actually blue? Come find out a Blue Jays true colour this Wednesday night! Birds and other species use colour to attract mates, repel rivals, display anger, and camouflage from predators. Tonight you’ll learn that there’s more to colour than what meets the eye! 

Animal Locomotion (August 9) – Everybody’s doing a brand-new dance now, come on everybody, do the animal locomotion! We as humans can walk, run, jump, swim and we also have some pretty stellar dance moves, but that’s nothing compared to what other animals can do! Tonight we will be exploring and observing the fascinating movements and methods that animals use to get around!

Nasty Nettles and Poison Plants (August 16) - When faced with a three leaved plant, the first thing that comes to most minds is: “Leaves of three, leave them be!” No one wants a bad run in with poison ivy, but we can’t spend our lives avoiding every plant that has three leaves! This Wednesday night come familiarize yourself with the potentially harmful species in the Guelph area so you can adventure with confidence!

Drawn to Nature (August 23) – Drawing requires us to be more observant, more so than a quick peek or a fast snapshot. Taking the time to sketch the natural world allows us to notice things we might not have noticed before and to connect with nature on a deeper level. Tonight we will be starting our own nature notebooks! Feel free to bring your own sketch book but it’s not required!

Surfing the Web (August 30) – How do spiders communicate? Through the World Wide Web!! This Wednesday night we will be on the hunt for outdoor “web-sites.” Come gain a new appreciation for our 8 legged friends as we debunk spider myths, discuss their fascinating adaptations and learn identification tips! 

Nature is known to be unpredictable and unexpected, so what awaits us today?  Jason, the Arboretum's Naturalist Intern will be leading walks every Wednesday - January through April.  Walks start at The Arboretum kiosk at 12:15 p.m.  For further information contact Jason at or ext. 53625.  The hike may be cancelled if there is inclement weather.  The walk is approximately 1 hour long.

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