At a Glance

Hours: Grounds open daily dawn to dusk. If gate is closed, park along edge of drive and walk in. Visitor Center open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, Sunday noon to 4 pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Dec. 24-31.

Cost: Visitor entry fees are being waived in 2021 thanks to generosity of members and donors. Normally $5 for adults, $2 for students 6-18, and free for children 5 and under. Admission is free for Adkins Arboretum members.

Tips: Stop in at the Visitor Center to pick up a printed bird checklist, blooming plant guide, and butterfly guide. ◾ Do not pick flowers or otherwise disturb the plants. ◾ Picnic tables are located near the entrance to the woodland paths. ◾ Ticks and chiggers may be present; consider precautions such as permethrin spray on your clothing.

Best Seasons: Spring and fall migration.

Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Ridgely CE, Ridgely CW

Local MOS Chapter: Caroline County Bird Club

Adkins Arboretum

12610 Eveland Rd., Ridgely, MD 21660
(410) 634-2847

Adkins Arboretum is a very special place for birders to visit because of its emphasis on native plants, and as we know, native plants attract birds through their fruits and through the insect life that they support. The land at the Arboretum is part of Tuckahoe State Park, but is separately managed by a non-profit organization. The Arboretum consists of 400 acres of woodlands, meadows, wetlands, and gardens representative of the Eastern Shore’s native landscape. Adkins Arboretum is the only arboretum or public garden that focuses solely on plants native to the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain. Because of its location on the Delmarva Peninsula, at the junction of the Piedmont and the coastal plain where northern and southern plant life overlap, the Arboretum includes diverse habitats that support more than 600 species of native shrubs, trees, wildflowers, grasses, and ferns. By walking the Arboretum grounds, visitors can experience native plants in a natural setting, as well as in ecological restoration projects and in cultivated gardens. The Arboretum is a model for land stewardship, playing an important role in teaching visitors about protecting the health of the Chesapeake Bay by preserving and restoring the native flora of the region.

The Arboretum’s native gardens border a restored one-acre wetland adjacent to the Arboretum Visitor Center, which is teeming with wildlife. Spring peepers, green frogs, and bullfrogs call to visitors entering the Visitor Center. A mix of mature upland and bottomland hardwood forests and younger pine forests provide a rich habitat. Thickets of native azaleas and mountain laurel bloom in May, and woodland wildflowers bloom from late winter to summer. Look for wood ducks and beaver along Tuckahoe Creek and Piney Branch.

There are five miles of trails winding through the Arboretum grounds. The Blockston Branch path offers a walk through mature bottomland hardwood forest and is wheelchair-accessible. The Arboretum’s Tuckahoe Valley trail connects to Tuckahoe State Park’s trail system for longer hikes. See the trail map at the link at left for additional trails.

Birdlife:

More than 180 species have been reported on eBird from Adkins Arboretum. Grasslands host Yellow-breasted Chat, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, White-eyed Vireo, and many other colorful summer residents. The edge habitat along each meadow can be rich with migrants in spring and fall. The bottomland forest is responsible for this location being designated an Important Bird Area for breeding Prothonotary Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Kentucky Warbler. There is a bluebird trail with 23 nest boxes that winds through the Arboretum.

Pet Policy:

Leash your dogs at all times on the grounds.

Wheelchair Access:

Most of the Arboretum is wheelchair-accessible. Assistance is available if needed; call ahead.

Special Designations:

Adkins Arboretum is contained within the Tuckahoe Creek Important Bird area, as designated by the National Audubon Society. ◾ Adkins Arboretum is a certified Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Green Center. ◾ Adkins Arboretum is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service.

Special Features:

  • Biking is allowed on the Arboretum paths; give those on foot the right of way.
  • Picnic tables are located near the entrance to the woodland paths.
  • The Visitor Center has an excellent bookstore and library.
  • The Arboretum’s native plant nursery provides a long list of plants available for purchase for home gardens.
  • The Arboretum’s website provides an outstanding assembly of information for visitors, such as lists of blooming plants for each month of the year.
  • The Living Collections Database and web mapping platform that allows visitors and staff to research plants found on the property. The database allows users to search for a plant by its scientific or common name, or by what is currently blooming. This search yields extensive information about the plant habit, growing conditions, habitat, phenology, and ethnobotanical information.
  • The Arboretum hosts a variety of educational programs, such as guided walks, lectures, demonstrations, children’s programs, and seasonal community events.
  • On the first Saturday of each month, the Arboretum offers a guided one-hour walk through the meadows and woods; advance registration is necessary.
  • Pre-recorded audio tours are available via a loaner device that you can pick up at the Visitor Center.
  • The Arboretum hosts an ongoing exhibition series of artwork on natural themes by regional artists, including an annual juried art show held each February, and an outdoor sculpture show each summer. Art exhibitions are displayed in the Visitor’s Center program room.
  • A book club focuses on conservation issues.
  • A unique children’s playground is modeled after a Native American village and is constructed entirely of natural materials.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Maryland Historic Trust have produced a series of water trail maps for the Choptank River and Tuckahoe Creek, available as a free download.
  • The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Caroline County Bird Club. The club has meetings with presentations and field trips, all open to the public at no cost.

Multimedia:

  • An orientation video is available online at the Adkins Arboretum website.
  • A handheld device with a pre-recorded audio tour of the grounds may be picked up at the Visitor Center. There is also an audio tour called “A Journey Begins: Nature’s Role in the Flight to Freedom,” which explores the little-known relationship between nature and the Underground Railroad.

Parking:

Paved lot near the Visitor Center.

Directions:

From the Western Shore via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Take US Route 50 east and south to MD Route 404. Turn left (east) onto Route 404 and go approximately 7 miles to the second stoplight at MD Route 480/Ridgely Rd. Turn left onto Route 480 and then in just 690 feet, take the immediate first left onto Eveland Road and go north. The Arboretum is 2.3 miles ahead on the left (west) side of the road.

From Centreville, MD or points north on the Eastern Shore: Take MD Route 304 south for 6.3 miles to Ruthsburg and then turn right to go south on MD Route 481/Ruthsburg Road (called Damsontown Road on some maps). Go 4.4 miles and make the first left (east) onto Crouse Mill Road, which will take you past the south end of Tuckahoe Lake. Continue on Crouse Mill Road to Eveland Road, the first road on your right after the lake. Turn right (south) onto Eveland Road. The Arboretum is 0.8 miles ahead on the right (west) side of the road.

From Easton, MD or points south on the Eastern Shore: From north of Easton on US Route 50, take MD Route 309/Cordova Road to MD Route 404. Turn right (east) onto MD Route 404 and go approximately 7 miles to the second stoplight at MD Route 480/Ridgely Rd. Turn left onto Route 480 and then in just 690 feet, take the immediate first left onto Eveland Road and go north. The Arboretum is 2.3 miles ahead on the left (west) side of the road.

Nearby Sites:

Caroline County: Choptank Marina ◾ Daniel Crouse Memorial Park ◾ Idylwild Wildlife Management Area ◾ Martinak State ParkPelot MOS SanctuarySkeleton Creek Road & Bethlehem Road ◾ Tuckahoe State Park (Caroline County)

Dorchester County: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge ◾ Cambridge – Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park (Dorchester County Side) ◾ Cambridge – Great Marsh Park ◾ Cambridge – Oakley Street ◾ Cambridge – Sailwinds Park & Visitor Center ◾ Chesapeake Forest – North Tara Road ◾ Elliott Island Road / Fishing Bay Wildlife Management Area (Eastern Section)Hooper’s Island ◾ Taylor’s Island

Queen Anne’s County: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center – Horsehead ◾ Conquest Preserve ◾ Ferry Point Park ◾ Matapeake Clubhouse & Beach / Matapeake Fishing Pier & Boat Ramp ◾ Terrapin Nature Park ◾ Tuckahoe State Park (Queen Anne’s County) ◾ Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area

Talbot County: Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park (Talbot County Side) ◾ Black Walnut Point Natural Resources Management Area ◾ Claiborne LandingMarengo Woods MOS Sanctuary ◾ Mill Creek MOS SanctuaryPickering Creek Audubon Center ◾ Poplar Island

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Garden or Arboretum Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Rivers & Streams

Features:

BeginnersBoardwalkEntry Fee (Daily, All Year)Gift Shop or BookstoreHabitat Restoration ProjectHiking/Walking TrailsNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsNature Education ProgramsParkingPicnic AreaRestroomsVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families

Type:

Audubon Important Bird AreasChesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkGardens & ArboretaMAEOE Green CenterNature CentersPrivate Sanctuaries and PreservesState ParksWater Trails