Explore the Beauty of Garvan Woodland Gardens
Make the most of your visit to one of the country’s top botanical gardens with these ready-made itineraries! Or mix-and-match for an experience all your own!
IF YOU LOVE LONG WALKS...
You’re in luck. The 210-acre garden beckons visitors to grab a trail map and go. The primary trail winds its way from the welcome center to the Floating Cloud Bridge to Warren’s Woodland Walk and to the Fern Glade. It will take you all the way out to the Perry Wildflower Meadow and overlook. Invest the time to take the non-primary trail out to the Shannon Perry Hope Overlook and the Hixon Nature Preserve, with serene views of Lake Hamilton and Eagle Point — where the Garland County Audubon Society has spotted more than 120 species of birds, including bald eagles.
IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN...
Bring the stroller, but be prepared to abandon it as soon as your kids set eyes on the amazing new treehouse in the Evan Children’s Adventure Garden. It’s an easy climb to the top, even with toddlers, and the nearby climbable boulders, man-made cave and 12-foot waterfall are a blast. It doesn’t stop there. There are so many things for children across the grounds. They can feed the fish in the pond, meet the resident peacock, explore the Sugg Model Train Garden or take part in a scavenger hunt to score a prize. Even the gift shop is kid-friendly, with adorable garden-themed toys and keepsakes that make great souvenirs.
IF YOU’RE SEEKING PEACE & QUIET...
There are many tranquil hamlets to steal away to within this verdant oasis. The Garden of the Pine Wind is a 4-acre, rock and stream garden offering a quiet place for contemplation and meditation. Approximately 300 varieties of Asian ornamental plants can be viewed here, including 60 types of Japanese and other Asian maples, Oriental dogwoods, tree peonies and hundreds of azaleas.
The Bonsai Garden is the epitome of tranquility. This intimate garden, hidden from the main trail by a coppice of small trees, is a showplace for the ancient art of growing miniaturized trees and bushes. Take respite in other quiet places throughout the gardens, or refresh yourself at the Chipmunk Cafe, where drinks and light fare are served daily.
IF YOU APPRECIATE ARCHITECTURE…
One of the highlights of the gardens is the architecture, inspired by renowned architect and Arkansas native E. Fay Jones who believed architecture should reflect and fit within the natural beauty surrounding it. Jones designed the Garvan Pavilion, which serves as the center of activity for the gardens. His influence is seen in other structures in the gardens, such as the Anthony Chapel and the Carillon. The chapel complements the wooded landscape just outside with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and skylights affording views of the changing seasons.
IF NATURE IS YOUR THING...
You definitely need to make a trip during the Tulip Extravaganza or during Daffodil Days. But even if you can’t time your trip during these peak bloom periods, there is ample nature to admire all year. A particularly enchanting spot is two stories above the forest floor on the Millsap Canopy Bridge. Spanning 120 feet, the serpentine-shaped bridge winds through a woodland paradise of pools, cascades and verdant plantings nestled in a ravine christened Singing Springs Gorge. Enjoy spectacular views of Lake Hamilton through a canopy of oak, hickory, pine and ash.
IF SELFIES ARE MORE YOUR THING...
The entire gardens make a beautiful backdrop for a scenic selfie, but there are several spots – like the Perry Wildflower Overlook – that are picture-perfect. Meander your way to the beautiful Carillon tower or find the 12-foot waterfall and cave near the children’s garden to snap some extra special moments.
The Bridge of the Full Moon is one of the most recognized and most photographed features of the gardens — don’t miss this Insta-worthy spot.
GREAT REASONS TO COME BACK
Special events are scheduled throughout the year, including Daffodil Days and Tulip Extravaganza in springtime, and Fall Flower Days in October, which celebrates a rainbow of 8,000 chrysanthemums in bloom.
Don’t miss the popular Holiday Lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens, which illuminates the area’s winter beauty with 5 million Christmas lights during much of November and all of December. This holiday event is so popular, it lures visitors from across the state and region each year.
BRING FIDO FOR HIS WALK TOO!
Dogs are welcome to accompany members for free or visitors for $5. One dog per visitor and all dogs must remain on a leash.