grassy field with row of conifer trees behind

Guidelines and Policies

Visitor Guidelines

**Effective August 9, masks are required indoors for everyone (students, faculty, staff, contractors, and visitors), both vaccinated and unvaccinated, at Blandy.**

For more information, please see University of Virginia policy SEC-045 COVID-19 Health & Safety Requirement – Face Masks, Physical Distancing, Events and Gatherings, and Visitors

We encourage all visitors to explore the arboretum and enjoy our various gardens and collections. Feel free to walk on all the trails and gravel roads within the arboretum, as well as any mowed grassy areas. While visiting, please remember that the arboretum is a living museum and outdoor laboratory. We ask that you respect the collection by following these rules:

  • Do not climb trees or stone walls.
  • Do not disturb plant tags or labels.
  • Do not pick flowers or collect any plants or plant parts, including seeds, leaves, pine cones, and acorns.
  • Do not disturb wildlife, including snakes and insects.
  • Pets are welcome but must be leashed at all times.
  • Owners must clean up after pets.
  • Horses must stay on marked bridle trail.
  • Drive only on designated roads.
  • Do not walk in garden beds.
  • Remote control vehicles, including aerial drones, are prohibited.
  • Team sports and games are not permitted.
  • Bikes may be ridden on paved and gravel roads only.
  • Hunting, fishing, night hiking, overnight camping, and fires are prohibited.

In case of emergency, dial 911.

Photographer Guidelines

Amateur and professional photographers are welcome at the State Arboretum of Virginia. No permits or fees are required, but donations are encouraged. A donation tube is near the information kiosk adjacent to the main parking area. There is no charge for admission except during special events. Engagement photos, senior portraits, etc. are welcome. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times.
To assure the enjoyment of all visitors, please follow these guidelines:            

  • Leave absolutely No Trace. If you bring it with you, take it with you, even if it's organic. 
  • No glitter, confetti, or chalk outlines.
  • Please respect the collection. This is an outdoor research laboratory and living museum. Do not pick flowers or plants, or remove any signs or plant labels, as this may cause a botanical identity crisis.
  • Do not step or stand in garden beds, or pose subjects in trees or on stone walls.
  • If you turn or move a bench, please return it to its original location.
  • Tripods are allowed, but please do not block walkways or paths when other visitors are present.
  • Avoid buildings during business hours. Only staff and residents are allowed upstairs in the Quarters.
  • Photographers may not block or reserve any area for their exclusive use. More than 150,000 visitors come to the Arboretum every year. Expect company, especially on weekends. You can check our Reservation Calendar to see if there are any scheduled events which may impact your plans.

If you have any questions, email

Thanks, and Happy Shooting!


  • Pets are welcome, but must be leashed at all times.

  • Do not allow pets to approach other pets or visitors.

  • Owners must pick up pet waste.

  • Keep pets out of garden beds and research areas.