Surface: Paved Asphalt
Grade: Under 5%
Length: 1/2 mile
Number of Benches: 7 (including two accessible picnic tables)
HOW CAN I GET THERE?
To get to the paved Bristlecone Pine Trail, start at Bristlecone Pine Trailhead located at 148 SW Fischer Lane. To get there by car, head downhill from the Visitor Center and turn at the first road on your left. The trailhead and parking will be on your left. There are two handicap accessible parking spaces. Parking at this lot is free.
HOW USABLE IS IT?
At the trailhead, there is a large sign with a map that outlines the Bristlecone Pine Trail in brown, along with the other 12 miles of trails at the Arboretum. The Bristlecone Pine Trail is paved up until a picnic area. Enjoy being surrounded by birdsong and tree-covered hills as you move along this ½ mile trail (one way). In several areas, tree roots have intruded under the pavement, causing significant bumps. The path remains relatively flat throughout, though it can be winding in areas. As there are evergreen conifers and deciduous trees on this trail, you may also encounter pinecones and fallen leaves on the trail throughout late summer and fall. There are five benches for resting along the trail, and two accessible picnic tables in a clearing near the ginkgos.
WHAT CAN I SEE, DO, AND HEAR?
Make your way along the path in a mixture of sun and shade. You’ll pass by pine, fir, dogwood, maple, ginkgo, and monkey puzzle trees. Many of the trees on this trail are also fragrant, especially in spring, summer, and fall.
Unlike most trails at Hoyt Arboretum, which are organized by taxonomy (plant family), the trees on this trail are arranged by geographic origins. Collections include Chile and South America, China, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the Pacific Northwest, among others.
Along the path on the right is the Stone Circle, a great place to stop and take in the forest surrounding you. This location is also available to be reserved for weddings and events, so be prepared to encounter groups of people there, depending on the time of year. Wayfinding signs are at each trail intersection to help you navigate.
From the viewpoint, continue traveling along the path to get to the accessible picnic area, which is surrounded by ginkgo trees. While the Bristlecone Pine trail continues past the picnic benches, it becomes a gravel path with tree roots obstructing parts of the path. To stay on the pavement, travel back the way you came and check out the small loop that intersects with the White Pine Trail. Here, there are more benches and three non-accessible picnic tables.
The free, wheelchair-accessible Washington Park Shuttle stops every 15-30 minutes and runs daily March-September from 9:30am-7:00pm, daily in October from 10:00am-4:00pm, and weekends November-February from 10:00am-4:00pm. It stops in front of the Visitor Center at Hoyt Arboretum.