#90 – Overland Park Arboretum
8909 W 179th St, Bucyrus, KS 66013
Amenities: Gardens, cafe, sculpture gardens, paved trails, hiking trails.
Good for: Families, runners, outdoorsy people, plant lovers.
Tip: Check out their calendar for fun events like forest runs and wine tastings.
The Overland Park Arboretum is a 300-acre botanical garden located in Overland Park, KS. The Arboretum is a relatively new arboretum, being dedicated in 1996. It includes a variety of gardens, hiking trails, prairie land and an education center.
History of the Overland Park Arboretum
The Overland Park Arboretum was established in 1996 by the city of Overland Park, Kansas. Today, the park is not finished, but there are plans in place to finish development. The city hopes to have 85 percent of the site set aside for natural ecosystems. The remaining 15% of property will be gardens and buildings.
Throughout the park you will find many memorials and plaques to the men and women who founded and supported the arboretum.
What to Do at the Overland Park Arboretum
There is so much to see and do at the arboretum. The center includes:
- 180 acres of prairieland
- 6-miles of walking trails
- 30-piece sculpture exhibition
- 13 unique gardens
I wasn’t expecting the mulched trails to be quite as secluded as they are, but they are deep in the woods of the arboretum. They are beyond gated fences (as a way for the arboretum to prevent deer from eating their garden flowers). Walking one of the trails, I did see a deer and a hawk eating a rabbit, so you are definitely fully immersed in nature.
The paved walking paths, including a .4-mile path around the sculpture garden, are less secluded, but just as wonderful. The flowers, plants, ponds and streams along the paved paths are gorgeous. The paved paths also have activities for kids, including a small splash pad, a train exhibit and playground.
Their maps are a bit confusing, but I think the arboretum is best when you can explore without a time constraint. It costs just $3 for adults and $1 for children to enter the arboretum, but Tuesdays and certain weekends throughout the year have free admission.
Like the Powell Gardens, the Overland Park Arboretum is a bit outside city limits, but totally worth the drive. xx, Libbie.