Cylburn Arboretum

The 207-acre park features over 20 different gardens and miles of trails. Visitors can also check out the Civil War-era mansion and visitor’s center.

Besides its stunning gardens, Cylburn hosts a variety of events throughout the year like Jazz Under the Stars and Summer Celebration of Arts. The park also has greenhouses that are open by appointment. This is a fantastic article to read.

Nature Trails

Imagine a place in the heart of Baltimore where you can take peaceful strolls along nature trails and visit gardens designed to teach about the plants and trees that surround you. That place is the Cylburn Arboretum and it offers free admission to all visitors.

The park has 207 acres at 4915 Greenspring Avenue and is home to a beautiful mansion, impressive gardens, and three miles of woodland trails. It’s a wonderful escape from the city without ever leaving it.

A long driveway leads east from Greenspring Avenue, bypassing a parking lot, visitor center, and six greenhouses before terminating in front of the mansion surrounded by expansive lawns, flower beds, and woodlands.

Originally built for Jesse Tyson as his grand estate, it was purchased by the city in 1943 and converted into a public garden. Today, the mansion houses a horticultural library, herbarium and a collection of wildflower paintings, and the arboretum’s offices. The carriage house serves as a meeting and education center for the volunteer group that supports Cylburn, known as the Cylburn Arboretum Friends (CAF). It also has a workshop and yard space.

The Mansion

Originally the private estate of businessman Jesse Tyson, the 207-acre park was landscaped in the Victorian Renaissance Revival style with formal gardens, lawns, and woodland hiking trails. The mansion is an architectural presence – an imposing light gray stone structure with inlaid floors, marble baths, and leaded glass.

In 1943 the City of Baltimore acquired the property at auction and turned it into a park. Rooms in the mansion were leased as a home for neglected and abandoned children until 1957. In 1954 the City founded the Cylburn Wildflower Preserve and Garden Center, later renamed Cylburn Arboretum.

Today the mansion houses the Cylburn Museum, a horticultural library, a bird and nature museum, a herbarium, and a collection of wildflower paintings. It also serves as an office for the Recreation and Parks Department and Cylburn Arboretum Friends. The rest of the complex consists of production greenhouses, botanical gardens, and forested hiking trails. The paths are easy to moderate in difficulty with a variety of wooded areas with mature hardwood trees that represent Maryland’s Piedmont region. Explore more!

The Carriage House

Located behind the Cylburn Mansion, the Carriage House hosts several gardens including an All America Selections garden, a vegetable garden, and a heritage rose garden. Several Memorial gardens and a Butterfly garden complete the area.

In the 1800s, Baltimore businessman Jesse Tyson cleared a portion of his land to build a mansion and carriage house in the Victorian Renaissance Revival style of the time. In 1942, the city purchased the property and turned it into a public garden with over three miles of trails and a variety of landscapes.

The Arboretum Association maintains the grounds and gardens today, with help from the city Department of Recreation and Parks. The garden is open year-round and is free to the public. In 2010, the city built a new visitor center and education facility called the Vollmer Center. It uses modern solutions to reduce the building’s environmental footprint, such as composting toilets and geothermal heating and cooling.

The Gardens

With 3.5 miles of trails, stunning gardens, and a gorgeous stately mansion, Cylburn Arboretum is the perfect Baltimore destination for nature lovers and families. With a wide variety of trees, flowers, and other plants to explore, you can spend the day exploring all that this beautiful park has to offer.

The grounds feature over 200 acres of public garden space, with premier flower and vegetable gardens, wooded trails, production greenhouses, and a number of buildings offered for rental through the city’s parks program. The Arboretum includes an extensive collection of trees and shrubs, inspired by Tyson’s original plantings, including azaleas, hollies, magnolias, maples, birches, and Maryland oaks.

The Arboretum is home to a great deal of wildlife and the many woodland paths are an ideal location to observe native and migrating birds. Birders may want to check out the Vollmer Visitor Center, which features modern solutions for reducing the building’s impact on the environment and an impressive collection of natural history collections. Next article.


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