Car traveling a hill along the auto tour.Auto Tour
Enjoy one of the nicest drives through a natural area in east-central Indiana.

On our two mile driving tour you will enjoy scenic views through planted forest and old-growth forest.  There are several opportunities to park along the way, so take your time and enjoy the sights.

There is a nominal $5.00 fee for non-members to enjoy our Auto Tour.  Please purchase a token inside the Nature Center.

Follow along on a small map or a large map (.pdf).

  1. Morton Arch
  2. Research Pond
  3. Oak/Tulip Experiment
  4. Beech-Maple Forest
  5. Research Area
  6. Woodland Chapel
  7. Springhouse
  8. Hayes House
  9. Brice E. Hayes Memorial
  10. Mildred s. Hayes Memorial
  11. Paul C. McClure Native Woody Plant Preserve
  12. Nature Center

Morton Arch1. Morton Arch
This large sandstone and brick arch was the entrance to the former Morton High School in downtown Richmond. It was moved to its present location by a previous owner and was left intact when Stanley Hayes purchased this property.

2. Research Pond
The wet area to the left of the Auto Tour was one of many old gravel pits mined on the Hayes estate. The pond is slowly filling in and is undergoing ecological succession.

3. Oak/Tulip Experiment
The stand of White Oaks and Tulip trees on your left is the result of an experiment in hardwood reforestation. These trees were planted in 1922-23 and, in time, will show which tree is more hardy in this given situation.  This also serves as a fine example of plantings that function as timber production.

Beech tree growing in old-growth forest.4. Beech-Maple Forest
This Beech-Maple forest, with trees up to 450 years old, is a remnant of what the early Indiana settlers found on much of this region's land. Few forests of this caliber remain, approximately 60 acres of old growth forest are located within the Arboretum grounds. In 1998, it was estimated that less than 2,000 acres of old growth forest remained within the state of Indiana.

5. Research Area
This beautiful example of Beech-Maple climax forest has had a minimum of human impact since the early 1900's. It is restricted to visitors and is only accessed by Arboretum staff to monitor changes in natural diversity.

6. Woodland Chapel
On your right, you might see a wedding taking place in our outdoor sanctuary, our Woodland Chapel. Here is a great opportunity to pull off and enjoy the quiet, serene atmosphere offered by nature.

Springhouse in the Winter7. Springhouse
Located just off the Auto Tour, this shelter built of hand-hewn timber, commemorates a good friend of the Arboretum. It provides a quiet place for rest and mediation. The Springhouse Trail also starts here; a relaxing 1/4-mile hiking path takes visitors through he Fern Garden.

8. Hayes House
Today, the estate home of Stanley W. Hayes serves as a guest house for the Arboretum. Visiting educators, consultants, contributors members and above of the Arboretum have access to its accommodations.

Brice E. Hayes Memorial Fountain - looking back towards the Hayes House.9. Brice E. Hayes Memorial
The fountain is dedicated to former Board President, Brice E. Hayes, son of Stanley W. Hayes. His vision established the facilities, programs and financial stewardship of the Arboretum.

10. Mildred S. Hayes Memorial
Once part of the Elks Country club golf course, this scenic hillside commemorates the wife of Brice E. Hayes. Her love for children and the out-of-doors inspired an Arboretum direction toward environmental education for young people.

Yellow Wildflower11. Paul C. McClure Native Woody Plant Preserve
In the surrounding ten acres dwell at least one specimen of every tree, shrub, or vine native to the Whitewater Valley Drainage Basin. Several of the trees have identification markers that give both scientific and common names.

12. Nature Center
This renovated 1833 dairy barn offers a variety of information and interpretive displays. Restrooms and a drinking fountain are located inside.

Printed maps are available at the Nature Center. Click on the map for larger .pdf version.  

Hayes Arboretum  ▪  801 Elks Road   ▪  Richmond, Indiana  47374  ▪  765-962-3745