Accessibility

Mt. Cuba Center’s mission is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to protect the habitats that sustain them. Every individual is an important potential steward of this mission. Through our collective and intentional action, we can make a positive change in both the environment and our community.

We acknowledge the existing inequities within society that have made access to nature and its benefits unattainable to so many. As an organization, we are committed to overcoming these barriers and becoming a more welcoming and inclusive representation of our diverse community.

Our inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) initiatives represent the organization’s ongoing commitment to provide an environment where all people feel comfortable, welcome, and safe. We aspire to be a space where everyone has an opportunity to contribute, share, learn, and grow together.

Mt. Cuba believes that a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints enhances organizational strength and resilience, and fosters stronger connections between our mission and the communities we serve.

Mt. Cuba Center is the former private estate of Pamela and Lammot du Pont Copeland. Because it started as a private residence, many paths are uneven, narrow, or steep. More accessible paths are part of Mt. Cuba’s future development plans.

This page details accessibility at Mt. Cuba, but it is not exhaustive. Please contact us with any questions.

  • For questions about Mt. Cuba’s accessibility policy or information on this page, please call 302.239.4244 or email info@mtcubacenter.org.
  • For accommodation requests or further information about the accessibility of specific programs, please contact Robert Parrett at 302.239.8895 or rparrett@mtcubacenter.org.

Parking
Cars, vans, and buses enter from Barley Mill Road and park in the Guest Parking Lot (P1) on the right at the top of the driveway. Accessible parking is available in the first row in front of the Ticketing Office.  Additional temporary accessible parking is available in P2 during events.

All guests, including members, must check in at the Ticketing Office or Front Desk before entering the gardens.

Ticketing Office & Admission
General admission tickets can be purchased online or in person during your visit. Classes are offered year-round.

Memberships can be purchased online or in person at the Ticketing Office which includes an accessible, all-gender, single-stall restroom with a changing table.

Plants and merchandise are available for purchase and for your convenience may be stored at the Ticketing Office until your departure.

Personal Care Assistants
Personal Care Assistants are admitted to the gardens for free in the accompaniment of another guest.

Service Animals
Service animals are permitted in the gardens, but pets and emotional support animals are not allowed. Service animals must always remain on marked paths, remain under their owners’ control, and not pose a threat to other guests. Additionally, owners are responsible for cleaning up and carrying out any waste.

Mobility Devices
Personal mobility devices may be able to access some pathways and terrain. Due to varying terrain and path conditions, please call ahead of your visit.

Mt. Cuba provides a cane, a walker, a wheelchair, and walking sticks on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are not required. Inquire upon arrival.

What to Expect
Mt. Cuba provides indoor and outdoor experiences for our guests and seeks to set expectations for what guests may sense and encounter while visiting. A general sensory guide outlines information about the conditions of different garden areas and what accommodations are available on site.

Mt. Cuba Center now has free adult and child sensory bags available on a first come, first served basis.  These clear backpacks contain noise cancelling headphones and a wide assortment of fidget items.

Season Information
Mt. Cuba’s general visitation season typically runs from April to November. The gardens are subject to weather and path conditions, and we strive to maintain safe, accessible pathways for our guests.

Classes are held year-round, including during the winter. If we close our facilities due to winter weather, we will announce the closure on our website and via email and phone messages to enrolled students.

Umbrellas are available in the Copeland House and at the Ticketing Office for guests to use during their visit

Path Descriptions
The Formal Gardens, Trial Garden, and Woods Path are now paved and hardscaped providing a new ADA accessible route through the gardens around the Copeland House.

Due to our rolling terrain and mulched paths, access to level, even terrain in the naturalistic gardens is limited. Please consult our level-terrain map to see the variety of terrain and stair locations.

  • Golf cart transportation to select locations throughout the garden is available upon request.
  • For your convenience, wheelchairs, walking sticks and a walker are also available upon request at the Ticketing Office.

Reservations are not required. Please call with any questions in advance of your visit at 302.239.4244.

The Trails throughout Mt. Cuba’s natural lands are maintained in their more natural state and take on a “wilder” aesthetic, as opposed to the carefully curated gardens. More than two miles of Trails meander through fields and forests, over uneven terrain and moderately steep hills. We advise stopping at the Copeland House to visit the restrooms before venturing out onto the Trails. For more information on the Trails, including distances, click here.

Accessible Welcome Walks 

These tours bring Mt. Cuba Center’s mission of inspiring an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants to life. This introductory experience is perfect for those who wish to learn more about our garden’s history, native plants, and conservation tips you can apply at home, while having easy access to the beautiful pathways and gardens.

Accessible Welcome Walks are available upon request with at least 7 days’ notice. Please call 302-239-4244 for questions and scheduling. This tour can be added to your general admission ticket for $5. Free for members.

Option 1: This route is about a half mile. It prioritizes flat, paved paths except for one winding sloped path (meets ADA regulations for slope) at the beginning of the tour from the parking lot to the Copeland House. Option 1 also includes optional instances of short, mulched paths and stairs. This tour prioritizes seating opportunities along the route.

Option 2: This route is .35 miles long. It includes only flat, paved or brick paths and prioritizes seating opportunities along the route.

Assisted listening wireless audio headsets are now available for tour usage on a first come, first served basis. Please call 302.239.4244 for additional information or to check compatibility with medical devices.

Welcome Video
A great place to start your visit is to watch our captioned welcome video in the Copeland House or by clicking on this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0HLqeBq7Xw

Restrooms & Changing Tables
Restrooms are located on each floor of the Copeland House. They include the following restroom facilities:

  • Multi-stall women’s and men’s restrooms on the first floor of the Copeland House with accessible stalls and changing tables in each restroom.
  • A family-sized, all-gender, single-stall restroom with a changing table is available on the second-floor landing.
  • An accessible, all-gender, single-stall restroom is available on the lower level near the classroom.

Portable restrooms are available for use at the bottom of the Dogwood Path and in natural lands. These restrooms feature hand sanitizer and no-flush toilets. Please note that these restrooms are not accessible and cannot be reached by personal mobility equipment.

Restrooms are not equipped with sharps-disposal containers. However, sharps-disposal containers are available upon request at the Front Desk.

Breastfeeding & Pumping
Guests looking for privacy to breastfeed or pump may either request to use a conference room at the Front Desk or may use the family-sized, single-stall restroom on the second-floor landing. There is an upholstered armchair located in this restroom.

Food & Beverages
There is a water-filling station near the restrooms on the Main Floor that has hot and cold water and small cups available for use. Mt. Cuba Center encourages guests to bring a reusable water bottle with them to fill on site and carry. Reusable water bottles are available for $3 at the Front Desk.  Limited food and beverages are available for purchase at the Front Desk.

Guests may bring their own food with them to the gardens, but alcohol is prohibited.  Accessible seating options are available on the terraces and in the Upper Allee.

Classrooms
Access to the restrooms and classrooms of the Copeland House are located to the left of the Guest Entrance door in the Forecourt through an accessible electric entrance door, The Conservatory and Terraces can be accessed using the electric entrance door to the right of the Guest Entrance door.  All classrooms have ADA compliant seating and tables.

Elevator
To access another floor of the Copeland House, there is an elevator located across from the restrooms on the Main Floor. This elevator is an original traction-passenger elevator; Guest Experience staff are always available to demonstrate operation and accompany guests to their destination.

Guests requiring assistance while on property may call 302.239.4244 to reach staff.

Lost Party
If a member of your party goes missing, please consult the nearest staff member. Whenever a guest is on property, there is always Public Safety on site.

Evacuations
For the safety of our guests and staff, Mt. Cuba Center closely monitors weather conditions. Guests are cleared from the outdoor public areas during unsafe wind and storm conditions. In this case, guests may either take shelter in the Copeland House or exit the gardens to their cars.