Located on a 91-acre tract of a hillside near the WVU Coliseum on the campus of the West Virginia University in Morgantown, the WVU Core Arboretum is a botanical garden founded by the University for recreation, research, and education that welcomes visitors every day, from dawn to dusk. Nestled between the Monongahela River and Monongahela Boulevard, the WVU Core Arboretum is home to a variety natural habitats in which several hundred species of native herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees reside.



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Established in 1948 when the West Virginia University purchased the site, the WVU Core Arboretum was named after Professor Earl Lemley Core, who was chairman of the Biology Department and is now managed by the WVU Department of Biology.

The Gardens

Situated on a steep hillside and the flood plains of the Monongahela River, the WVU Core Arboretum consists of old-growth forest and includes densely wooded areas featuring 3.5 miles of walking trails, and three acres of lawn planted with specimen trees. The Arboretum also features a diverse variety of natural habitats in which hundreds of species of native shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants that are endemic to the area.

The Arboretum is renowned for its magnificent wildflower displays from late March to early May and is an excellent spot to observe animals and birds. Other facilities in the WVU Core Arboretum include trailside benches and interpretive signs throughout the park, a small amphitheater, and an information kiosk, which provides trail maps and other information free of charge.

The WVU Core Arboretum features 3.5 miles of walking trails, including the Guthrie Loop and Strausbaugh Trail, which are relatively gently and level and close to the parking lot. The Caperton Rail-Trail which also passes through the gardens and link visitors to the far-reaching rail-trail system.



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Located along a major north-flowing river and featuring a variety of diverse habitats, the WVU Core Arboretum is home to a wealth of wildlife and birds, as well as excellent possibilities for viewing. More than 160 species of birds have recorded in the garden, ranging from herons, ring-necked ducks, tundra swans, and green-winged teals, to lesser scaups, buffleheads, northern pintails, and woodpeckers. Mammals that call the Arboretum home include beavers, raccoons, woodchucks, muskrats, foxes, and deer.

Visitor Information

The West Virginia University Core Arboretum is located on Monongahela Boulevard and is open to the public every day during daylight hours.

Monongahela Blvd, Morgantown, WV 26502, Phone: 304-293-0387

Back to: Morgantown, WV

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