At a Glance
Hours: April 1 to October 23: Tuesday through Sunday 8 am to 8 pm; October 25 to April 1: Tuesday through Sunday 8 am to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays and Federal Holidays. Visitor Center hours are more restricted.
Tips: See the Baltimore Bird Club’s description of Cylburn for detailed information on where to bird at Cylburn & what to look for at each spot.
Best Seasons: Spring and fall migration, although there is pleasant birding year around.
Breeding Bird Atlas Block: Baltimore West NE
Local MOS Chapter: Baltimore Bird Club
4915 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21209
Cylburn Arboretum, located in the northwest part of the City of Baltimore, is a beautiful 207-acre urban park managed by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks with support from the Horticultural Society and Cylburn Arboretum Association. In the 1800s, Cylburn was owned by Baltimore businessman Jesse Tyson, who cleared some of the wooded areas to construct a mansion, carriage house, and gardens. The imposing stone mansion was completed in 1868 in the Victorian Renaissance Revival style and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, beautiful formal gardens are maintained in the core area near the mansion, with more naturalist forests and gardens comprising the bulk of the grounds.
Cylburn features more than 3.5 miles of easy to moderately difficult woodland trails that wind through the grounds. Mature hardwood trees representative of the Piedmont make up the bulk of the forested areas, though there are some conifers. The plantings alongside the trails contain an outstanding diversity of wildflowers. The gardens at Cylburn also offer a small man-made bog and open meadow areas. The habitats at Cylburn are protected by a deer-exclusion perimeter fence.
For suggested walking routes, see the description of Cylburn Arboretum from the out-of-print Birder’s Guide to Baltimore, published by the Baltimore Bird Club.
Cylburn is the home-base of the Maryland Ornithological Society and the Baltimore Bird Club. The Baltimore Bird Club holds its monthly meetings at Cylburn, and also offers regular bird walks there; both the meetings and the bird walks are open to the public; see http://baltimorebirdclub.org/schedule.html for the the current schedule. The Baltimore Bird Club provides an eBird Trail Tracker, a kiosk for eBird sightings, in the Vollmer Visitor and Education Center at the Arboretum.
More than 165 species of birds have been reported on eBird from Cylburn Arboretum. It is a great location to observe migrating birds, especially thrushes and warblers. There are many year-round resident species, including a Great Horned Owl. Orioles, warblers, tanagers, vireos, kinglets, and gnatcatchers are resident during spring and summer. Since it is on a north-south urban flyway corridor, spring will often bring a variety of warblers and other migrating species. Shorebirds and waterthrushes can sometimes be seen in the remote stream/marsh area.
Ample free parking in designated paved lots.
The historic mansion at Cylburn houses administrative offices of the City of Baltimore Department of Parks and Recreation as well as the Cylburn Arboretum Association. The first floor rooms are open to the public with limited hours or by appointment, and showcase many of the original architectural fixtures and details. A display case in the front hall holds photos of the home’s original owners and the first floor rooms and gardens in the early part of Cylburn’s history. ◾ A photographic tour of notable trees at Cylburn is available online at http://cylburn.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=5262239294794c1685c767ef4055c513. ◾ An eBird Trail Tracker kiosk is available in Vollmer Visitor and Education Center to record bird sightings. ◾ The Vollmer Visitor and Education Center was built utilizing many green building techniques. It features modern solutions to reduce the building’s impact on the environment such as composting toilets, a “living” green roof, and geothermal heating and cooling. ◾ The Vollmer Center offers a full schedule of guided bird and nature walks, nature camps for children, and assorted cultural events throughout the year. ◾ Cylburn is the official home of the Maryland Ornithological Society and of the Baltimore Bird Club. ◾ The Nature Museum, currently closed for renovation, houses the Baltimore Bird Club’s extensive collection of taxidermy mounts of birds of Maryland, along with nests and eggs. ◾ The Baltimore Bird Club is the founding chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and remains an important hub of birding activity in the state. The club offers monthly meetings with informative presentations and a full schedule of field trips and bird walks, all free and open to the public. ◾ For a whimsical look at birding activities in Baltimore, check out the graphic arts booklet, “Birdland,” created by local artist Book Karnjanakit.
By car from I-83 South or North, exit onto Northern Parkway Westbound. At the first stoplight, turn left onto Greenspring Avenue. Continue south on Greenspring Avenue, past the traffic light at the intersection of Cylburn Avenue and Greenspring Avenue, then turn left into the Arboretum gates. Follow the entrance road to parking.
By Light Rail: the closest stop is Cold Spring Lane, at 1700 W. Cold Spring Lane.
By Bus: The #1 bus stops just west of the intersection of Greenspring Avenue and Cylburn Avenue.
Druid Hill Park; Lake Roland; Patterson Park; Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center; Fort McHenry National Monument; Cromwell Valley Park; Irvine Nature Center; Milford Mill Park; Loch Raven Reservoir; Holt Park.
Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Garden or ArboretumLawn, Ballfields, Golf CourseUrban or Small Town Landscape Old Fields, Shrubby Meadows Freshwater Marsh or FloodplainRivers & Streams
Features:BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)Free - No Entry Fee at Any TimeHiking/Walking TrailsNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsNature Education ProgramsParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaRestroomsVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:Community and Urban ParksGardens & ArboretaHiker-Biker Trails (Paved)Nature Centers