Where to Run – The Arboretum


The Arboretum is located on Alumi Drive between Tates Creek Road and Nicholasville Road. Alumni Drive is under heavy construction at this time, but Arboretum is still accessible during the construction. Just pay attention to the cones, be aware of oncoming traffic, and you’ll get in and out just fine.

The 2-mile paved trail at the Arboretum is a treasure to the the Lexington area. Other than one traffic crossing, the trail is free of vehicular traffic. It is open from dawn to dusk, and I have always felt safe due to the frequency of passing other runners or walkers.

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The grounds are beautiful and the botanical gardens truly showcase the varied plant species we have across our state.  Since 1991,  the University of Kentucky and the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government, have worked with the Friends of the Arboretum to preserve and maintain 100 acres. Together, these three entities have created grounds to foster the relationship between humans and the natural world, provide attention to conservation and research issues, and provide urban forest renewal.

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The 2-mile paved path showcases plant life from seven regions of Kentucky. You will see over 520 native species from around Kentucky. There is an additional 1/2 mile mulched Arboretum Woods Path. One of my favorite things about this trail is the variety of uses. It is  a lovely course for running or walking, with the typical rolling hills of Central Kentucky. But it is also a great place to find a good spot to rest. The course has lots of benches and large rocks for sitting and finding quiet. Visitors to Lexington frequent the Arboretum, as it hosts 200,000 annual visitors.

On days when you have more time to explore, the Arboretum is also home to garden exhibits. You can spend time in the Rose Garden, Fragrance Garden, the Kentucky’s Children’s Garden, and visit the Flight 5191 Memorial.

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The Arboretum is open from daylight to dusk daily. Runners and walkers are encouraged, but bicycles are not permitted at the Arboretum. Leashed dogs are welcome on the paved trail, but not in the garden exhibits.

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