The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens and all other parts of the Arboretum are open to the public without charge. The Arboretum is not a public park or playground, however, and we ask that you respect the special nature of this University facility as a place for study, research, reflection, and enjoyment. To help us to preserve the Arboretum and make everyone’s visit enjoyable, please abide by our rules and policies. Solicitations are not permitted in the Arboretum. Non-University individuals and groups may not use the facilities in the Arboretum for fundraising or for commercial purposes.
If you wish to visit the Arboretum between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and the lot is full, you may pay by the hour (for up to four hours at a time) to park in the lot of the nearby Lewis Katz Building by using an automated pay station located on the end of the lot adjacent to the intramural fields. The station accepts only coins or a credit card. After 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends and holidays, there is no charge to park in the Katz lot.
Another option on any day is to pay $1/hour to park in the East Parking Deck on Bigler Road.
Visitors must park large vehicles such as motor coaches and school buses at the Porter North parking lot on Porter Road near Beaver Stadium. Please go to the University’s interactive map. The quickest way to find the Porter North lot is to click on “Penn State Athletics” in the side bar on the left of the page. From the drop-down menu, choose “Baseball” and then choose “Baseball Parking – Porter North.” The map will zoom to a localized view of that area.
To drive to the Porter North lot from the Arboretum’s parking lot, turn right onto Bigler Road as you leave the Arboretum lot and follow Bigler Road to its intersection with Park Avenue. Turn left onto Park Avenue and travel to the traffic light at the intersection of Park Avenue and Porter Road. Turn right onto Porter Road. The first building on the left will be the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center and the second will be the Penn State Meat Lab. Turn left into the Porter North lot right after you have passed the Meat Lab.
If you are hosting an event or bringing a group to the Arboretum, you can also consider hiring a shuttle to transport your guests or contact the University’s Parking Office to make arrangements for parking.
If you are interested in renting a pavilion for a gathering in any of the local and regional parks, visit http://www.crpr.org/parks/pages/pavilion-rentals. Please note that the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority will not accept requests to reserve a pavilion less than 60 days in advance.
Stop by the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center at 800 East Park Avenue (a short distance from the Arboretum) for maps showing the locations of local eateries.
The Arboretum at Penn State
Corner of Park Avenue and Bigler Road
University Park PA 16802
The Arboretum is at the corner of Park Avenue and Bigler Road. The entrance to the parking lot of the gardens is on Bigler Road. Visitors arriving by automobile from distant locations should exit the I-99/Route 322/Mount 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.
There are no public roads through the larger Arboretum, but the woodlands, fields, and Bellefonte Central Rail Trail are accessible by foot or bicycle from several adjacent neighborhoods.
- From College Heights – Follow the McKee Street/Clinton Avenue bike path from Sunset Park at the end of McKee Street down into Big Hollow and turn right (onto the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail). This trail traverses the Arboretum.
- From Campus or Fox Hollow Road – Follow Big Hollow Road from its intersection with Services Road on the northwestern edge of campus to the University’s maintenance depot along Fox Hollow Road (shortly before the I-99 overpass).
- From Overlook Heights – Follow the path from the termination of East Aaron Drive in the College Heights neighborhood into the fields.
- From Toftrees – Enter the Arboretum from the Toftrees residential development by following the railroad bed that becomes the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail.
(A map of the bulbs in bloom throughout the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens)
Commemorative Finder Map (commemorative benches, trees, recognition plaques)