Plan Your Visit

Coker Arboretum is currently open to the public. We ask that you follow standard safety precautions to help us keep the Arboretum open and safe for everyone.

  • Keep your distance (at least six feet) from other visitors, staff, and volunteers. Where possible, choose a different path if you see others nearby. If you are passing others and must step aside, please only step into pathways or lawns – never into the garden beds.

  • Wear a mask if you’re not able to stay at least six feet from others. Learn more on the Orange County website.

  • Do not visit if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. See the full list on the CDC website.


Hours

Click to view the full-size Coker Arboretum map [PDF]

Coker Arboretum is open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.

Directions & Parking

Coker Arboretum is located on the corner of Cameron Avenue and Raleigh Street in Chapel Hill. Click here for Google Maps directions. Metered parking is available nearby and around downtown Chapel Hill.

Paths

Coker Arboretum paths are mostly flat and either smooth grit or brick. They are wheelchair accessible.

What will I see?

Serene walking paths take you past wildflowers and trees in this 5-acre gem on the UNC campus. Rest on one of several open lawns, or take a seat on a shady bench. Coker Arboretum changes with the seasons. From spring blooms to summer greenery, fall color to winter grace, there’s always something to see.

Support the Arboretum
Help us maintain the Coker Arboretum by making a donation to the endowment fund.
Arboretum Guide
Prepare for your visit with this map and guide to notable trees.
A Haven in the Heart of Chapel Hill

History

Historical photo of Coker ArboretumIn 1903, Dr. William Chambers Coker, the University’s first Professor of Botany and the first chair of the University Buildings and Grounds Committee, began developing a five-acre boggy pasture into an outdoor University classroom for the study of trees, shrubs, and vines native to North Carolina. Beginning in the 1920s and continuing through the 1940s, Dr. Coker added many East Asian trees and shrubs. These species, closely related counterparts to many North Carolina native plants, enhanced the beauty and educational value of the Arboretum. Today the collection consists of a wide variety of plantings including flowering trees and shrubs as well as bulb and perennial displays. The Arboretum has something unique to offer during every season of the year.

Join us for a free tour of Coker Arboretum!

Third Saturdays March-November

Note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, tours are temporarily suspended. Visit ncbg.unc.edu/coronavirus for updates.

Led by an experienced guide, this tour provides a relaxed, informative introduction to this jewel in the heart of Chapel Hill. This walking tour will explore the 5-acres that make up the Arboretum, allowing time for observation and discussion. Each tour differs as the gardens change through the seasons. The tour departs from the stone gathering circle on the Cameron Avenue side of the Arboretum at 11 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month (March through November).