Explore more than two miles of scenic trails throughout Mt. Cuba Center’s 1,000 acres of natural lands, which are managed to promote ecosystem health and function, support environmental education and scientific research, and preserve the character of the regional landscape. These areas are maintained in their more natural state and take on a “wilder” aesthetic, as opposed to the carefully curated gardens.
The Trails begin as you cross the historic bridge over Barley Mill Rd. The trail options, which vary in length and topography, and showcase unique habitats across the property, include:
- Grassland Trail (0.85 miles) – This trail features a restored pond surrounded by pollinator habitat, historic stone home and springhouse, and large unfragmented grasslands that provide habitat for grassland birds. Reaching an elevation of approximately 410 feet, this trail navigates rolling terrain and offers impressive views of Appalachian Piedmont geography.
- Forest Edge Trail (0.81 miles) – Visitors seeking a gently-sloping path with some shade can follow this trail while viewing grasslands, woodland edge, and native tree plantings. The habitat along this trail supports various species of plants and birds.
- Understory Trail (0.72 miles) – New for 2022! A shaded escape from summer heat, this path winds through a forest full of native hardwoods across a stream and through a black walnut grove. Past the forest, visitors will encounter a pond teeming with life and a low-lying meadow full of native wildflowers.
- Chestnut Trail (.15 miles) – Guests hiking this trail will observe an enclosure home to several generations of hybridized Chestnuts, the result of a collaboration with The American Chestnut Foundation. This trail also overlooks the pond and the low-lying meadow.
Throughout The Trails experience, you may encounter wildlife and observe active habitat management. Please stay on the trail to help us preserve these native habitats. Seating, shade, and restrooms are provided and noted on the map below.
For your safety, accessing The Trails throughout Mt. Cuba’s lands is only permitted during our regular visitation season, April through November, by entering our main entrance and purchasing a general admission ticket or scanning your membership. The Trails are included with general garden admission. Please note only service animals are permitted here.