Enjoy one of the nicest drives through a natural area in east-central
On our two mile driving tour you will enjoy scenic views through
planted forest and old-growth forest. There are
several opportunities to park along the way, so take your time and
enjoy the sights.
There is a nominal $3.00 fee for non-members to enjoy our Auto Tour. Please
purchase a token inside the Nature Center.
Follow along on a small
map or a large map (.pdf).
- Morton Arch
- Research Pond
- Oak/Tulip Experiment
- Beech-Maple Forest
- Research Area
- Woodland Chapel
- Hayes House
- Brice E. Hayes Memorial
- Mildred s. Hayes Memorial
- Paul C. McClure Native Woody Plant
- Nature Center
1. Morton Arch
This large sandstone and brick arch was the entrance to the former Morton
High School in downtown Richmond. It was moved to its present location by
a previous owner and was left intact when Stanley Hayes purchased this
2. Research Pond
The wet area to the left of the Auto Tour was one of many old gravel pits
mined on the Hayes estate. The pond is slowly filling in and is undergoing
3. Oak/Tulip Experiment
The stand of White Oaks and Tulip trees on your left is the result of an
experiment in hardwood reforestation. These trees were planted in 1922-23
and, in time, will show which tree is more hardy in this given situation.
This also serves as a fine example of plantings that function as timber
4. Beech-Maple Forest
This Beech-Maple forest, with trees up to 450 years old, is a remnant of
what the early Indiana settlers found on much of this region's land. Few
forests of this caliber remain, approximately 60 acres of old growth
forest are located within the Arboretum grounds. In 1998, it was estimated
that less than 2,000 acres of old growth forest remained within the state
5. Research Area
This beautiful example of Beech-Maple climax forest has had a minimum of
human impact since the early 1900's. It is restricted to visitors and is
only accessed by Arboretum staff to monitor changes in natural diversity.
6. Woodland Chapel
On your right, you might see a wedding taking place in our outdoor
sanctuary, our Woodland Chapel. Here is a great opportunity to pull off
and enjoy the quiet, serene atmosphere offered by nature.
Located just off the Auto Tour, this shelter built of hand-hewn timber,
commemorates a good friend of the Arboretum. It provides a quiet place for
rest and mediation. The Springhouse Trail also starts here; a relaxing
1/4-mile hiking path takes visitors through he Fern Garden.
8. Hayes House
Today, the estate home of Stanley W. Hayes serves as a guest house for the
Arboretum. Visiting educators, consultants, contributors members and above
of the Arboretum have access to its accommodations.
9. Brice E. Hayes Memorial
The fountain is dedicated to former Board President, Brice E. Hayes, son
of Stanley W. Hayes. His vision established the facilities, programs and
financial stewardship of the Arboretum.
10. Mildred S. Hayes Memorial
Once part of the Elks Country club golf course, this scenic hillside
commemorates the wife of Brice E. Hayes. Her love for children and the
out-of-doors inspired an Arboretum direction toward environmental
education for young people.
11. Paul C. McClure Native Woody Plant Preserve
In the surrounding ten acres dwell at least one specimen of every tree,
shrub, or vine native to the Whitewater Valley Drainage Basin. Several of
the trees have identification markers that give both scientific and common
12. Nature Center
This renovated 1833 dairy barn offers a variety of information and
interpretive displays. Restrooms and a drinking fountain are located
Printed maps are available at the Nature Center. Click on the map for
larger .pdf version.