North Carolina Botanical Gardens’ display gardens have re-opened. Read on to learn about visiting the Display Gardens, as well as Coker Arboretum and Battle Park.
Display Gardens at North Carolina Botanical Gardens
The display gardens at North Carolina Botanical Garden, at 100 Old Mason Farm Rd, Chapel Hill, have reopened, as of Tuesday, August 18th, 2020.
They are free to visit, and open during normal hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. They’re closed Mondays. No reservations are required.
- Main parking lot
- Outdoor spaces
- Restrooms with outdoor entrances
- An outdoor visitor information kiosk with printed maps
- Indoor spaces (including the Garden Shop, Pegg Exhibit Hall, and Peacock Discovery Room)
- The pedestrian gates between the Piedmont Nature Trails and our display gardens (the only way you can enter the display gardens is through the main entrance on Old Mason Farm Road)
- Certain paths may be closed to ensure the safety of staff and volunteers at work
Please bring a face covering, in case you need to enter the restroom or if you’re unable to maintain six feet of distance from anyone you’re not isolating with.
Coker Arboretum is at the corner of Cameron Avenue and Raleigh Street in Chapel Hill. In all, it’s 5 acres. Stroll the flat, easy walking paths and enjoy wildflowers, trees, shrubs, perennials, vines and more.
You’ll find several benches and open lawns throughout. as well as creeks.
This area was first developed in 1903 by Dr. William Chambers Coker, Professor of Botany at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with many East Asian trees and shrubs added in the 1920s through 1940s.
You can find a map of Coker Arboretum here.
Battle Park, at Country Club Drive and South Boundary Street, is an old-growth forest on the edge of campus. The trails wind through the 93-acre forest.
A highlight, which is right at the entrance at the southwestern corner of Battle Park, is Koch Memorial Forest Theatre, a one-of-a-kind stone amphitheater built into the hillside. It was built in 1940 with Work Projects Administration funds and improved in 1948.
Even before the construction of the amphitheater, this was a site for outdoor drama, with a performance in 1916 to mark the 300th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.
Today, Forest Theatre is a unique and special setting for performances, but when there aren’t performances taking place, you can make yourself at home here!
NorthCarolina Botanical Garden has managed Battle Park and Forest Theatre since 2004. The trails are varied and some are steep, uneven and rocky. You can see a trail map here.
Battle Park is open dawn to dusk every day, and Forest Theatre is as well, as long as there is no event or performance taking place.