Notice: Beginning Monday May 18, the university will temporarily close Arboretum Drive to motor vehicle traffic from the Wingra Drive entrance to the Visitor Center. The road will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists to make it easier to use the road safely and with social distancing. Vehicle traffic should use the Seminole Highway entrance. Read more»
The Visitor Center is closed and Arboretum events are cancelled until further notice. COVID-19 updates»
The 1,200-acre Arboretum is located on the near-west side of Madison, bordering the southern shore of Lake Wingra.
The Visitor Center is 1 mile from the Seminole Highway entrance, and 2.3 miles from the Wingra Drive / Mills Street entrance. The address 2880 Longenecker Drive works in most mapping and GPS services. The Arboretum’s mailing address is 1207 Seminole Highway. 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 the Visitor Center parking lot are open year-round 7 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. These parking lots are all open from sunrise to sunset.
Arboretum / McCaffrey Drive is not a through road; a gate in the Visitor Center parking lot prevents motor-vehicle through traffic Monday–Saturday. The gate is open on Sundays, 12–5 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 / South Mills Street, near St. Mary’s Hospital. The Visitor Center is 1 mile from the Seminole Highway entrance and 2.3 miles from the Wingra Drive / Mills Street entrance. The entrance from Wingra Drive / Mills Street will be temporarily closed to motor vehicle traffic beginning May 18.
Due to a stormwater pond rehabilitation project in Curtis Prairie, there is a construction entrance off McCaffrey Drive. Truck traffic is being directed with a flagging operation. Travel delays may occur on this portion of the road. Drivers, cyclists, and runners should follow all signs and flagger direction, proceeding with extra caution to ensure their visibility, especially to the truck drivers.
Drive slowly and be alert for wildlife and people. Arboretum / McCaffrey Drive is heavily used by walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Turtles, wild turkeys, and other animals are frequently found on road shoulders and crossing lanes. The speed limit is 25 mph. The road through the Arboretum is a no-passing zone.
Please note that roller skis, in-line skates and roller skates, skateboards and longboards, and segways are not allowed in the Arboretum.
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. Runners and hikers should stay on the paved road or designated trails at all times. NOTE: some trails in west Curtis Prairie will be closed for the Curtis Pond Rehabilitation Project. For your safety and that of work crews, please stay off closed trails and out of project areas.
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.