Knobs Prairie

Knobs Prairie

Early Goldenrod

Early Goldenrod (Solidago juncea)

Trumpet Honeysuckle

Rockcastle Aster (Eurybia saxicastellii)

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) in the Bluegrass

Cecropia Moth

Cecropia moth found in the Appalachian Plateau

Carolina Rose

Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina) in the Pennyrile

False Gromwell

False Gromwell (Onosmodium hispidissimum) in the Bluegrass

What is The Walk Across Kentucky?

The Walk Across Kentucky is a diverse and unique Kentucky native plant collection and a living museum that captures the spirit of the Commonwealth’s landscape. It was first planted in 1991 after extensive plant collection efforts in the 1980’s, which sought to secure the botanical diversity from across Kentucky, and cultivate it in a common location for research and conservation efforts.

A two-mile paved pathway meanders through over 80 acres of wild-collected native plants that represent the 7 physiographic regions of the state. There are over 2500 trees and shrubs in the collection and efforts are being made to further develop the interesting ecosystems found across Kentucky, including tallgrass prairies, wetlands, savannahs, and glades.

The Seven Physiographic Regions:

The Arboretum Woods

The Arboretum Woods is a 15-acre remnant Inner Bluegrass Woodland and is an especially valuable part of the Walk Across Kentucky Native Plant Collection. It includes over 60 species of trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers including some ancient trees aged over 300 years.  A half-mile trail provides access through the woods, and we ask that visitors remain on the trail to preserve the forest understory.

Arboretum Map

Arboretum Map

Arboretum Explorer

Arboretum Explorer is a web-based database that can be accessed on your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer to "explore" the plants and learn more about The Arboretum. Watch a short video to learn how to use Arboretum Explorer.


  • You can locate plants by using an interactive MAP of The Arboretum grounds.
  • You can also SEARCH our database for specific plants, or choose from a list of plants under the NAMES tab. The results of this search will give you its Arboretum location, the origin and the unique nubmer that staff use to identify individual plants.
  • Under our FEATURES tab, you can find memorial benches and trees, facilities, special gardens and more. 
  • You can take a self-guided TOUR created by Arboretum staff on topics such as native trees, shrubs and Kentucky Oaks.

Walk Across Kentucky Tree Tour Video

Shawnee Hills Meadow

Click HERE to join Arboretum Curator and Native Plants Collection Manager, Emily Ellingson, on a virtual tree tour of the seven physiographic regions of Kentucky.