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Visit us at 174 Lape Road, Esperance, NY 12066
Send us mail at P.O. Box 186, Esperance, NY 12066
Call us at (518) 875-6935
Email us at info@LandisArboretum.org
What is an arboretum?
An arboretum is a garden of trees, a place where trees and shrubs are grown for display and study. The Landis Arboretum has more than 200 acres of natural beauty, with old growth forests; collections of oaks, rhododendrons, crabapples, and native plants; perennial gardens; trails, ponds, and vistas; a collection of statuary; and MORE!
Where is the Landis Arboretum?
The Arboretum is in Esperance, New York, a short drive – 30 minutes or so – from Albany and the Capital Region, nestled in the beautiful Schoharie Valley, and close to major but scenic roads including I-88 and Route 20. Click here to view a Google Map of the area.
Sounds like a great day trip. How could I spend the time?
Pack a lunch and enjoy it at one of our picnic tables after a hike on your choice of 15 miles or so of trails. Click here for Visitor Guidelines. Pick up a trail map in our Welcome Center (some are available to download here ). Be sure to include our amazing Native Plant Trail, bog gardens, and the Fred Lape Trail, named after our founder. If you have a smartphone, use it to activate the QR coded signs on the Native Plant Trail, and you will be able to listen to trail originator and curator, Ed Miller, as he describes what you see. Leave a donation if you can.
Why is it called the George Landis Arboretum?
George Landis was a plant collector and close friend of Fred Lape. After George passed away in 1950 and left most of his estate to Fred Lape, Fred established the Arboretum on the site of the Lape family home, the 19th century Oak Nose Farm. He named it after his friend George, “who had made it all possible both in life and in death.” For an in-depth exploration of Fred Lape and the early days of the Arboretum, click here to download Fred Lape, a biography by Kenneth and Agnes DeKay.
I’d love to bring my teenagers, but they are more interested in texting and checking their phones than in either history or the great outdoors. Any ideas?
Visitors with smartphones are encouraged to take a self-guided tour of many of the Arboretum’s attractions that use QR codes to provide audio information year-round.
Speaking of year-round, does the Arboretum close for the winter?
Landis is open 365 days a year for your enjoyment. The beauty and stillness of a winter day can’t be underestimated. Look for animals and their tracks, and breathe in the crisp frosty air.
Plus, you don’t want to miss our very popular Second Sunday Snowshoe program in the months of January through March. Spend the afternoon at the Arboretum, with your equipment or ours, and enjoy a hot chocolate and conversation afterwards. Even without snow, you can still enjoy a group hike in a spectacular winter setting.
I’m a birder. Is the Arboretum a good place to work on my life list?
Landis is a birder’s paradise, with deep woods, open fields, ponds and transition areas, and a diversity of plant life to attract and sustain birds. In fact, the Arboretum is part of the Route 20 Bluebird Trail and features nesting boxes throughout the grounds.
Are there any activities in the evening?
Landis hosts a music series on selected weekends in the spring through fall. Click here for dates and performers.
And don’t miss the dark skies of Landis, easily enjoyed at a Star Party sponsored by the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers, who come to the Arboretum with world-class telescopes and lots of information to orient you to the wonders of the night. Star Parties are free (donations to the Arboretum gratefully accepted)! Star Parties are planned on a Friday and Saturday night March through November. If skies will be cloudy, the Star Party will be cancelled, so to be notified of cancellations, use the registration form found here.
Other night-time activities have included family-friendly nature programs like the Halloween Owl Prowl with Science Educator George Steele.
Click here or check the Activities tab on the website to see what’s planned for this year.
I’d like to get my kids more involved with nature. Do you have any other educational programs to recommend?
Science educators George Steele and Anita Sanchez and other Landis instructors offer a great variety of programs for both children and adults, focusing on the natural environment at the Arboretum, plant and animal life, crafts, and much more. And of course, there are the Star Parties. Click here or check the Activities tab on the website to see what’s scheduled for this year.
And, the Arboretum sponsors our own Boy Scout troop, another way for young people to learn about the outdoors right here in Schoharie County. To learn more about Troop 501, click here.
Can I bring my dog to the Arboretum for a short hike?
Yes, Landis is dog-friendly and welcomes well-behaved leashed dogs. Please be sure to clean up after your pets. Two waste stations with pick-up bags are located on the grounds for your convenience. For more information on dogs at Landis, click here.
The Arboretum sounds like a good place to run. Am I right?
Absolutely. In fact, our trails are home to the annual Landis Perennial Forest 5K Run/Walk, a 5K race second to none. Click here for more information on the 5K.
A friend of mine bought some beautiful perennials at Landis. When are they available?
The Arboretum conducts plant sales twice a year, in May and September. We have a large selection of native plants, flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, and herbs. Plus, we open up our used bookshop (a real treasure), sell homemade baked goods you can’t resist, and offer free accessible guided tours and mini-workshops. Click here for more information on the Landis Signature Plant, Bake, and Book Sales.
I haven’t been to the Arboretum in a few years. Anything new I should look for?
Definitely. There’s always something new at Landis. We’ve added the Waterfall Trail, a moderate to difficult trail with plenty of elevation loss and gain. It begins at the furthest point of the Ancient Forest Trail, and ultimately brings hikers to the Charleston State Forest. This stunning, wooded trail includes several small waterfalls and a giant bitternut hickory tree.
Landis is once again a garden of sculptures. In addition to installations by Arboretum favorite Samuel E, one near Willow Pond, near the Meeting House, and in the field below the Farm House, there are now whimsical sculptures by Edwin Falk scattered throughout the Arboretum grounds. And don’t be surprised by the T. Rex haunting the edge of the pond! Look for a Sculpture Trail map in the near future.
And, yes, we are continuing the renovation of the Meeting House. The views are as spectacular as ever, but the space is now the home of several music series and other performances, weddings, retreats, and other events, maybe even the site of your next family reunion.
This sounds like the place for me and my family. How can I find out more?
Start with the introductory video you will find on the homepage of our website. Then browse through the site where you’ll find loads of information about Landis Arboretum plus slideshows that highlight its beauty.
Become a member of Landis and reap the many benefits of discounts on programs and plant sales, special events, newsletters, reciprocal admission at other arboreta and public gardens nationwide, and so much more. Your membership is invaluable to the preservation of Landis Arboretum, a natural resource we strive to continually improve and sustain for you and your family, now and in the future. Click here to learn more about the benefits of membership!
Give us your email, and we will send you updates on Arboretum events, as well as the annual Calendar of Events and the quarterly Newsletter. Our Newsletter resides on a website, for which the link is sent each month; click here for an easy online email sign up form. To read past issues of the Newsletter, click here.
And, become a volunteer! We have many opportunities to get involved, whatever your interests and talents. We have committees, special events, and a wealth of ideas on how you can help. Contact Anne Donnelly, Volunteer Coordinator, at Volunteering@LandisArboretum.org or call (518) 234-7502.