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    The North Carolina Botanical Gardens have Reopened to the Public!

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    After remaining closed for the last couple of months, the North Carolina Botanical Garden has finally reopened its doors.  While the inside visitor center remains closed, they have set up and outdoor kiosk for guests to collect maps and information pamphlets.

     

    What’s Open?

    All 15 of the gorgeous display gardens are open to the public for free and standard hours have resumed (Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00 and Sundays from 1:00 – 5:00).  Unlike many other establishments and attractions that have opened back up, reservations aren’t required and, due to the size of the gardens, there isn’t a specific capacity.  Make sure to take in the gorgeous plants and flora that showcase the beauty native to North Carolina from the foothills to the coast.  The children’s garden is also open, so the kids can enjoy the butterflies and picnic garden once again.

    The Coker Arboretum is also open to guests once again!  In total, the arboretum is 5 acres and showcases gorgeous trees, creeks, and flowers along multiple flat and smooth paths that are also wheelchair friendly.  Don’t forget to relax and admire the changing of the seasons on one of the many open lawns throughout the arboretum.  It is the perfect place for students to study on campus and for families to enjoy a picnic!

    If you’re looking to get the whole family out on the trails, including the family dog, you’re in luck!  Battle Park is also open!  Located on the edge of UNC’s campus, this 93-acre forest is loaded with trails for every skill level.  Official hours for Battle Park are from dawn until dusk, including the infamous Forest Theatre.  The Koch Memorial Forest Theatre has been a staple of the area for almost 100 years and guests are allowed to enjoy its history while visiting the park.  If you’re interested in spending time around the theatre, make sure to check ahead to verify there isn’t a previously scheduled event planned at the site.

    Another feature of the botanical garden is the James & Delight Allen Educational Center.  The center was awarded LEED platinum status, giving it the honor of being the first state-owned building in North Carolina to receive the highest level of green building design.  While visiting the center, visitors can shop in the garden shop, enjoy the art gallery, and enjoy interactive learning in the Peacock Discovery Room.  Also inside the educational center are classrooms, an exhibit hall, and a seminar room.

    Another pet-friendly option open to the public is the Piedmont Nature Trails.  With three total trails, you’ll enjoy the best that the gardens have to offer while along the ½-mile – 1-mile loops.  The trails are the only place within the actual gardens that allow pets and there is a strict policy to keep them on a leash and to pick up after them.  If you’re looking to get more of a workout in, take advantage of the pedestrian/bike path!  Many guests will testify that these paths are the best way to take in the serene views that the gardens have to offer.

    Also, open from dawn to dusk is the Mason Farm Biological Reserve.  This 367-mile wildlife preserve will leave you speechless with over 800 species of plants and 400 animal species from mammals to reptiles.  Take the family on the 2-mile loop trail that surrounds the wildlife preserve and spend your day learning and appreciating our state’s wildlife.  Being a conservation site, all guests have to fill out a free permit before visiting.

    Public restrooms throughout the gardens are also open to the public but masks are required and social distancing is enforced.  Make sure to only enter the restrooms when there is enough space between you and anyone who is not in your party.

    What Remains Closed?

    All inside areas of the gardens remain closed until further notice.  This includes the educational centers and all gift shops.  The pedestrian gates between the Piedmont Trails and the display gardens are also closed indefinitely and all guests should plan on entering through the main entrance off of Old Mason Farm Road.  Also, while all outdoor paths are technically open, it has been stated that certain paths and trails might be temporarily closed in order to maximize social distancing.  And finally, if you’re looking forward to a day on the trails make sure to pack water because all of the drinking fountains will be blocked off for the foreseeable future, as well.

     

    While many things have yet to go back to normal due to COVID-19, having the Botanical Gardens open, once again, gives families in the Triangle area one more thing to take advantage of and enjoy outside of the house.  Remember that masks are required and to always practice social distancing!  If you’re curious about future events at the Botanical Gardens, make sure to check the website or call for information, as event dates are still subject to change or cancel.  Enjoy the beauty that the Botanical Gardens have to offer once again!

     

    Don’t forget to visit our website and follow us on Facebook to get updated information on events and attractions reopening throughout the Triangle Area!

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