The 1,200-acre Arboretum is located on the near-west side of Madison, bordering the southern shore of Lake Wingra.
The Arboretum’s address and main entrance is 1207 Seminole Highway. The Visitor Center and main parking lots are 1 mile from the Seminole Highway entrance, and 2.3 miles from the Wingra Drive / Mills Street entrance. The building number 2880 Longenecker Drive works in most mapping and GPS services (this is not a mailing address). A gate at the Visitor Center stops motor vehicles at the parking lots, preventing through traffic. The gate is open on Sunday afternoons from 12 to 5 p.m.
The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12:30 to 4 p.m. It is closed the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Arboretum trails and parking lots are open year-round 4 a.m.–10 p.m. There are several smaller parking areas along Arboretum/McCaffrey Drive. There is also a Grady Tract parking lot at the southeast corner of Seminole Highway and West Beltline Frontage Road. The Spring Trail lot on Nakoma Road and the Arbor Drive lot off Monroe Street provide parking for the Wingra Oak Savanna area.
Accessibility: The Arboretum Visitor Center is an accessible facility. There are five accessible parking spots in the main lot (two in the north section, three in the south section). There is an accessible path through the Native Plant Garden (map PDF) near the building; parts of this path are on a slope. Visitors may use wheelchairs on garden lawns and in natural areas at their discretion. The Arboretum is unable to provide wheelchairs.
Arboretum / McCaffrey Drive is not a through street for automotive traffic. A gate at the Visitor Center stops motor vehicles at the parking lots. The gate is open on Sunday afternoons from 12 to 5 p.m.
There are two entrances for vehicles (including bicycles): The west entrance is on Seminole Highway, just north of the Beltline (Highway 12). The east entrance is at Haywood Drive and North Wingra Drive, near St. Mary’s Hospital. The Visitor Center is 1 mile from the Seminole Highway entrance and 2.3 miles from the North Wingra Drive entrance.
The speed limit on Arboretum / McCaffrey Drive is 20 mph. The road is heavily used by walkers, joggers, and cyclists. We ask all road users to share the road responsibly and respectfully. Vehicles should observe the posted speed limit, make way for oncoming traffic, be cautious around blind curves, and stay alert for people and wildlife. Bicycles are allowed on the paved drives only. Runners and walkers should stay on the shoulder of the paved road and face oncoming traffic. Rollerblades/skates/skis and skate/longboards are prohibited.
Bicycles are allowed on paved roads only. Trail riding is prohibited.
The west entrance (Seminole Highway) is accessible from Madison’s Southwest Path and Fitchburg’s Badger State Trail. The east entrance (North Wingra Drive and South Mills) is accessible from the Southwest Path and the Wingra Creek Path. The Grady Tract is accessible from Seminole Highway / Badger State Trail and also from the Cannonball Path near the Knollwood Conservation Park. For more information on biking Madison and Dane County, visit Bike Madison.
Bike racks are available in most Arboretum parking lots. There are also B-cycle stations at Knickerbocker and Monroe streets, and at the Arboretum east entrance (Mills Street). (Note: there is no B-cycle station at the Visitor Center.)
The best way to enjoy the Arboretum is on foot. There are trailheads at all parking lots. Trails may be uneven, muddy, icy, or flooded, depending on weather and season. We recommend wearing sturdy, closed-toe, weather-appropriate shoes or boots.
Please stay on the paths at all times. Walking on trail edges can damage plants and wildflowers, and going completely off trail can trample plants, damage wildlife habitat, and interfere with research and land care projects.
Please leave furry friends at home. For the protection of wildlife, plant communities, and the pets themselves, domestic animals are not allowed (except service animals, as allowed by law).
Arboretum entrances, Wingra Oak Savanna, and the Grady Tract lot are accessible by Madison Metro bus. There is no bus service to the Visitor Center.
There is no access to the Arboretum by water. Please do not pull ashore on Arboretum lands – the shoreline is a fragile wetland ecosystem. Fishing from Arboretum land is not allowed.