Delightful Gardens, Parks & Farms of Harrisonburg

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Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

Spring is beautiful in the Shenandoah Valley as blooms and buds burst and color our world. It’s the perfect time to explore the green spaces of the Valley, and we’re particularly appreciative of the delightful gardens, parks, and farms of Harrisonburg. Come along and we’ll show you why …

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

A beautiful urban garden is a treat, but often goes unnoticed. Please, take note of this woodland sanctuary that feels anything but urban.

The 125-acre Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is part of James Madison University. It’s open to the public for free from dawn until dusk every day of the year. Visitors can enjoy the arboretum via 3.5 miles of trails meandering through stands of sycamores, an old-growth oak and hickory forest, and multiple gardens to include pollinator, wetland, perennial, and more.  Don’t miss the Frances Plecker Education Center & Ernst Tree Terrace. That’s where you’ll find art exhibits, special classes, and other opportunities.

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday Wildflower Walks, 10:30 a.m. April only
  • April 22-23, 25-29, and May 2-7: Spring Celebration Native Plant Sale

See What’s In Bloom
Visitor Map

White Oak Lavender Farm

The soothing scent of lavender is yours to enjoy as you walk through the White Oak Lavender Farm. As the mounds of lush lavender grow, you’ll be invited to pick your own to take home. If you’d rather have dry lavender or perhaps homemade products made with and of lavender, their gift shop will delight you. Plus, there are lavender workshops for you to create  your own wreaths.

Oh, and don’t’ miss this special tidbit: White Oak Lavender Farm is also home to The Purple Wolf Vineyard!

Upcoming Events

Julie Haushalter - Lavender Sunset

Julie Haushalter – Lavender Sunset

Back Home on the Farm

This family fun spot most often comes to mind in the fall when their pumpkin patch is loaded and ready for picking. However, it should also be considered for spring and summer adventures.

In spring, Back Home on the Farm opens their greenhouse for shopping. You’ll find inspiration for many types of gardens, including sweet little fairy gardens to ignite your imagination.

In summer, the farm is ready for visitors to enjoy many activities, including the Enchanted Garden with butterfly releases, underground slides, climbing cubes and wall, and much more. Meet the animals, too!

  • The Greenhouse is open through June 15, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
  • The Farm is open for summer fun beginning June 19 with those same hours. Admission is $10 per person and children under 2 are free. Grandparents with grandchildren are half price.

City Parks

There are 12 parks within the City of Harrisonburg, and one of the most popular is A Dream Come True Playground, an accessible and inclusive space offering many one-of-a-kind equipment to ensure kids of all abilities can participate in the fun of a playground. Find separate spaces for children aged 2-5 and 5-12.

Liberty Park is small but full of life. It’s on the corner of Libery and Wolfe Streets in downtown and features raised flower beds, shade and spaces for rest and reflection. A lovely backdrop to the park is the Shen-Valley Instruments Mural that some say have Seussical qualities, like the larger-than-life dandelion rising well above the people.

Comprised of 67 acres, Purcell Park features the Bluestone Trail running through a portion of it as well as its own 1.5-mile walking trail. Water features include a pond and Blacks Run, both being open invitations for wildlife. Pack a picnic and enjoy a bit of solace in the city.


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Get outside and enjoy the season in Harrisonburg, Virginia. check out for help in planning your next trip.

Header image by Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.

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