The West Virginia Botanic Garden (WVBG) in Morgantown is a unique 85-acre botanical garden that features plants that are endemic to the Appalachian region. Developed on the site of the Tibbs Run Reservoir, which once provided water to the residents of Morgantown in the early to mid-1900s, the West Virginia Botanic Garden includes old growth forest, small designed gardens, hiking trails, and a boardwalk meandering through a pristine wetland area.

1.History & Gardens

History & Gardens
© West Virginia Botanic Garden

Founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers, the Garden did have a site until 1999 so was established on the rented site of the Tibbs Run Reservoir property where it was developed over the following years. The 15-acre reservoir basin was drained in 1980 with small pools of water forming during periods of heavy rain, which helped contribute towards the growth and development of the garden. Today, the old water basin has been transformed into two smaller pools with several small islands and a range of diverse aquatic plant displays, but the old water works are still present and stand as a link to the past.

The Garden

By the Master Plan as set out when the garden was established, the WVBG features a variety of native meadows, woodlands, and wetlands, as well as an Eclectic Garden, a Butterfly Garden, and a Shade Garden. The gardens are crisscrossed with several walking and hiking trails through the old forest and woodlands, which are free and open to the public daily, from dawn to dusk.

There are five, slightly less than mile-long marked trails and a boardwalk through the wetland, all of which are looped and connect to other trails, including the Reservoir Loop Trail which is a 3/4-mile, universally accessible gravel path. The Reservoir Loop connects to several other smaller trails, while the Hillside trail begins at the upper parking lot down behind the Welcome Center and connects with trails to the Rhododendron and Shade Gardens. Noah’s Trail, which is on the far side of Tibbs Run is a popular walking and running track, and all trails are marked with new maps and guides.

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© West Virginia Botanic Garden

The West Virginia Botanic Garden offers several educational programs, ranging from summer camps, school programs, monthly family walks, and group tours. Five Summer Nature Camps are run throughout the year that focuses on learning about and exploring nature and cover topics such as nature conservation, trees and flowers, insects and birds, and mammals. Campers learn about leadership, stewardship, and teamwork. The Garden also offers school programs for students in grades pre-K through fourth grade that are designed to provide fun, engaging, and meaningful outdoor experiences. Social and recreational Monthly Family Walks are held the second Friday of each month and include nature education and exploration opportunities for children and their families.

Visitor Information

The West Virginia Botanic Garden is located at 1061 Tyrone Road in Morgantown and is open to the public daily and year-round. Admission is free, and parking is available on Fridays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Bicycles, motorized vehicles, horses, fishing, hunting, and camping are not allowed in the garden, and there are signposts throughout the arboretum that detail the fauna and flora that reside within the park. Group tours of the garden are available for an additional fee and focus on different topics such as the gardens, wildflowers, insects, trees, amphibians, pollination and nature in general.

More Things to Do in West Virginia, Best Things to Do in Morgantown, WV

1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown, WV 26508, website, Phone: 304-322-2093

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Morgantown, WV Points of Interest: West Virginia Botanic Garden

  • History & Gardens, Photo: West Virginia Botanic Garden
  • Education , Photo: West Virginia Botanic Garden
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