Surface: Paved Asphalt
Grade: Under 5%
Length: 1/10 mile
Number of Benches: 1
HOW CAN I GET THERE?
To get to the paved Visitor Center Loop, start at the Visitor Center. This is the only location at Hoyt Arboretum that has bathrooms and water fountains. It is also a great place to grab a map and get trail advice. In the Visitor Center courtyard, there is a map that outlines the Visitor Center Loop in gray, along with the other 12 miles of trails at the Hoyt Arboretum. On the same side of the courtyard as that map is the trailhead; if you’re facing the Visitor Center, it’s to your left, near some benches.
HOW USABLE IS IT?
The Visitor Center Loop is entirely paved. Enjoy being surrounded by a variety of deciduous trees as you walk for 1/10 mile in a loop around the Visitor Center building. While you travel, you may encounter some minor root intrusions along the path, but this path is generally flat. There is one bench for resting. The path wraps around the Visitor Center and ends back in the courtyard where you started, where there are more areas for sitting. There’s a drop-off on the side of the trail opposite of the Visitor Center, and it’s especially apparent midway through the trail, near the bench.
WHAT CAN I SEE, DO, AND HEAR?
The path is mostly cool and shady thanks to fir, oak, and beech trees, with some small patches of sunlight. In the winter, the trail can get mossy and slightly slippery, so it’s good to mind your step. There aren’t many trail intersections on the Visitor Center loop, but where there are you’ll find some short, rectangular wayfinding signs to help you decide where to go next. Interpretive signage also describes the trees surrounding you, mostly focused on the oak collection. You will pass one bench that makes for a great place to stop for a moment and take in the views.
At the end of the loop you can enjoy the Visitor Center courtyard, which has plenty of sunny and shady benches where you can observe people and their dogs. There can be a lot of sound from people, children, dogs, and cars in this area, especially during the summer season when there are a lot of visitors.
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.