large oak tree and green lawn


The Arboretum is open every day from dawn until dusk.


There is no charge for admission to the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens or the Arboretum land beyond the gardens.

Directions to the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens

The Arboretum is at the corner of East Park Avenue and Bigler Road in State College, PA. 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 then 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.

Directions to Rail Trail and Natural Lands

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.

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.

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).

Follow the path from the termination of East Aaron Drive in the College Heights neighborhood into the fields.

Enter the Arboretum from the Toftrees residential development by following the railroad bed that becomes the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail.


Passenger Vehicles/ADA Parking

Visitor parking is available in the Lewis Katz Building lot, just across Bigler Road from the Arboretum. There are several spaces designated for ADA parking near the Bigler Road entrance to this lot.

Drivers who have a Penn State permit that is valid in Orange A lots may park in the Katz lot. For those drivers whose Penn State permit is not valid in Orange lots, the Katz lot may be used after 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Parking fees apply in the Katz lot 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for drivers who do not have a PSU parking permit that is valid in Orange A lots. Payment may be made using the ParkMobile app (zone no. 95106) or the in-lot pay station, which is located near the west entrance to the lot just across from the Arboretum. A license plate number is required. Payment is $1/hour plus a small fee if paying by credit card. Visitors may download the ParkMobile app or visit ParkMobile’s Penn State site to learn more about this payment method.

Weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Visitors may purchase parking for a maximum of two hours (no renewals).

Weekdays after 3:00 p.m. and all day on Saturdays/Sundays
Visitors may purchase parking for up to 10 hours (no renewals).

There are exceptions during special events like home football games. All campus visitor parking information, including how to obtain daily, evening, overnight, weekend, and event parking permits, is available on the Penn State Transportation Services site.

Visitors who wish to cover the cost of parking for their guests may contact Penn State Transportation Services in advance of their event to arrange for special parking access codes. Email or call 814-865-1436 for more information.
Another option is to pay $1/hour to park in the East Parking Deck on Bigler Road.

Over-Sized Vehicles (buses, RVs, limousines)

On weekdays, over-sized vehicles such as school buses, motor coaches, and recreational vehicles must be parked in the Porter North parking lot on Porter Road near Beaver Stadium. Passengers may disembark in the bus turnaround in front of the Palmer Museum of Art before drivers move the vehicle to the Porter North lot. To get to the Porter North parking lot from the Lewis Katz parking lot, head west toward Bigler Road. Turn left onto Bigler Road. At the intersection with E. Park Avenue., turn left. Proceed to the second traffic light and turn right onto Porter Road. The Porter North parking lot will be on your left in the first block from the intersection.

Parking fees ($5/space) apply between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. There are two options in the Porter North lot. If the driver stays with the vehicle, there will be no charge for educational trips. If the driver leaves the vehicle, a fee based on the number of spaces occupied by the vehicle will be assessed. A school bus is generally $20.00 because most buses use 4 spaces at $5.00 per space, but the charge could be less for a shorter vehicle. Payment may be made using the ParkMobile app or the in-lot pay station.

View a map showing the route from the Katz parking lot to the Porter North parking lot (PDF).