2013 Hike Holden Challenge

Dates: March 15 through Nov. 30 Hike Holden Spring Hiking Challenge

Free for members.

Nonmembers pay $6 gate admission per visit.

Entry Form:

Download Hike Holden Challenge Form




The challenge? Come out to Holden and hike 10 of our designated Hike Holden trails. The challenge trails range from gentle walks through the garden to rugged adventures though the natural areas. Select the trails that are best suited to your ability and then enjoy a hike through the natural beauty of The Holden Arboretum in spring. Participants who complete the hiking challenge will receive a Hike Holden pin.


Garden Hikes – Nice and Easy

Highlights Trail

Holden's highlights trail is a good way to become acquainted with the arboretum. Each weekend, Holden's guides discuss the programs and history of the arboretum as you take a leisurely stroll around Blueberry Pond and Buttonbush Bog, through the Ponderosa Pines, the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden, Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden and the Display Garden. Guides highlight different plants depending on the season and what is in bloom.


Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden

Explore the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden and the Conifer Collection. Walk under English oaks amidst rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as other companion plants, in the Layer Rhododendron Garden.


Conifer Collection

One of the first things visitors see as they drive down Sperry Road toward the Corning Visitor Center, the Conifer Conifer Collection is a good hike, but worth the trip. Travel out past Corning Lake and the Layer Rhododendron Garden to see it.


Fall Leaf Trail (available in September and October)


Natural Areas – Medium to Rugged Hikes

Corning Lake

Stroll along the shores of Corning Lake to see the plants and wildlife that make Holden's largest man-made water feature home.

Bole Woods

Visit one of Holden's two National Natural Landmarks, Bole Woods, where you can see a mature beech-maple forest and associated plant and animal life.


Pierson Creek Loop Trail

Walk beside a continuously shifting creek channel that flows through a valley filled with delicate wildflowers and ferns, as our guide leads you on a hike through one of the most beautiful natural areas at the Holden Arboretum. Two very long and steep staircases are on this hike.

Woodland Trail/Molly Offutt Memorial Boardwalk/Meditation Point

Explore the young forest and deep beech/hemlock woods waiting to be discovered on the Woodland trail. Midway along the trail you will descend into the Pierson Creek Valley and walk on the Offutt Boardwalk as it winds along the Pierson Creek. One steep staircase is on this hike. Take a walk on the Offutt boardwalk in the spring to observe the wildflowers or visit Meditation Point in the different seasons.


Old Valley Trail


Holden's longest most rugged, self-guided trail offers a secluded 2.8 mile hike that lets you get close to nature.


Strong Acres Loop Trail


Explore the medows of Strong Acres and keep an eye out for blueirds, tree swallows, bobolinks and meadow larks as well as the insect speicies they feed on. The Strong Acres Loop is accessible from the Old Valley Trail.

Guided Hikes

On- and off-site guided hikes, offered throughout the year, can also be used as part of the Hike Holden Challenge. Explore Little Mountain or Stebbins Gulch, sign up for a Friday Wine and Cheese Night Hike or take a guided highlights tour and learn more about these fascinating areas of The Holden Arboretum. Learn more on our Forest Exploration, Home Landscapes or The Holden Experience pages about upcoming hikes.


Hikers can also take a Leaves class with a hike included, such as Potluck with Your Pooch, and count the hike toward their Hike Holden Challenge. Learn more about upcoming classes.