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Highlands Botanical Garden Trails

the Highlands Botanical Garden at the Highlands Biological Station serves as a living museum of labeled native plant species. Take Lower Lake and Upper Lake Trails around Lindenwood Lake to connect with Rhododendron Trail, or explore the garden and loop trails throughout the Garden. 

All trail range from

0.1 - 0.2 mile.

Easy to moderate walks ranging from 0.1 - 0.2 mile.

Image by Oscar Helgstrand

Outing Guides from The Highlands Biological Station 


Cherokee Garden Guide


Garden Map

Wildlife Checklist Guide

Wildflower Checklist Guide

Bartram Trail Guide


Getting There


This Trail is a part of The North Carolina Birding Trail

Start your visit to the Highlands Nature Center by following the Nature Center Trail, which begins to the left of the building. Detour through the azalea garden adjacent to the amphitheater, and continue past the amphitheater to the Botanical Garden entrance. The Botanical Garden displays more than 500 speices of the native flora of the southern Appalachian mountains. Inside the garden, follow trails on the left to the Lindenwood Lake Loop Trail. Follow the Loop Trail along the eastern shore to the boardwalk. Along the boardwalk, scan the lake for waterfowl, the tree tops for warblers and other forest birds, and the open sky for ravens and hawks. At the end of the boardwalk, cross Lower Lake Road to continue up Coker Rhododendron Trail, which protects an old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest, to watch for breeding songbirds. Return to Lower Lake Road on the Coker Rhododendron Trail and turn right to walk along the road parallel to the north end of Lindenwood Lake. Turn back on the trail over the dam at the Chimney Swift tower and proceed along the west side of the lake to return to the Highlands Nature Center. The dam area offers excellent birding opportunities for waterfowl, and spring and fall migrants. Also stop in to view the wildlife displays in the Nature Center.

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