Enjoy a quiet moment in a corner of the Smith Botanic Gardens.





Visit the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens!

(Phase I now open)

Source: Greg Grieco


The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in the Arboretum are adjacent to the University Park campus near the intersection of Park Avenue and Bigler Road. The entrance to the parking lot is on Bigler Road, facing the parking lot for the Lewis Katz Building which houses the Dickinson School of Law.

The gardens are open to the public every day from dawn until dusk, and there is no admission charge. Please abide by the garden etiquette rules that are posted at the main entrances. Doing so will help us to preserve the gardens and make everyone's visit enjoyable.


Guests may park in the Arboretum’s lot, which holds approximately 55 cars. Overflow parking is available on weekday evenings and on weekends in the nearby lot of the Lewis Katz Building.

On weekdays, one may also pay by the hour (for up to four hours at a time) to park in the Lewis Katz Building lot by using an automated pay station which is located in that lot on the end adjacent to the intramural fields. The station accepts only coins or a credit card.

If your event will occur on a weekday, you can consider hiring a shuttle to transport your guests or contact the University’s Parking Office to make arrangements for parking. 

(See the University Park vicinity map.)

  • Visitors arriving by automobile from distant locations should exit the Mt. Nittany Expressway at Park Avenue and proceed southwest to Bigler Road.

  • Those arriving from the south on Routes 26 or 45 should take Route 26 to Whitehall Road/University Drive and thence to Park Avenue and turn left.

  • Those approaching from the University Park Airport should travel southwest and then southeast on Fox Hill/Fox Hollow Road to Park Avenue and turn right.

The woodlands and fields in the Arboretum can be accessed by foot from the McKee Street/Clinton Avenue bike path as it traverses Big Hollow, from Big Hollow Road between the Mushroom Test Facility at the edge of campus and the Army Reserve Center along Fox Hollow Road, from the termination of East Aaron Drive in the College Heights neighborhood, and from Toftrees along the Bellefonte Central Railroad grade, which passes through over a mile of Arboretum property.



The Arboretum at Penn State is being built on an undeveloped, 370-acre parcel of land immediately adjacent to the University Park campus of The Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania. The property is bounded by Park Avenue (along the northwest edge of campus), the neighborhoods of College Heights and Overlook Heights, and Interstate 99 (currently the Route 322/ Mt. Nittany Expressway). A small pine plantation and Big Hollow Road (at the edge of University farmlands) form the northeastern border as shown in an aerial view of the locale.

The Arboretum is located at the border of USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 and 6, in the northernmost valley of the Ridge and Valley physiographic province, and surrounded by Nittany, Bald Eagle, and Tussey Mountains (Click here for a map of the area's terrain). The Arboretum property lies just a few miles from the geographic center of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Its geographic location is particularly significant because The Arboretum at Penn State will be the only institutional Arboretum within the large central region of Pennsylvania (map of PA arboreta).


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