Exploring Viles Arboretum's Visitor Center

Nature has a way of captivating our hearts and refreshing our spirits. Situated in the heart of Augusta, Maine, Viles Arboretum beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world. Boasting a diverse array of trees, enchanting gardens, and miles of scenic trails, the Arboretum provides an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts of all generations.

The Visitor Center at Viles Arboretum serves as a hub for engaging activities and immersive experiences, offering a wealth of opportunities for exploration and learning.

In the pursuit of enhancing visitor experience, Viles Arboretum has embarked on a journey of continual improvement, introducing a series of captivating new exhibits in recent years.

Observation Exhibits

Experience the buzz of excitement as our beloved observation beehive exhibit returns to the Visitor Center. Every spring, in collaboration with the Kennebec Valley Beekeepers, we offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into the intricate inner workings of a bustling beehive. Step closer to nature's busy little architects and witness the mesmerizing dance of bees as they go about their vital tasks of pollination and honey production. This immersive exhibit provides a unique opportunity to learn about the fascinating world of bees, their remarkable social structure, and the crucial role they play in our ecosystem.

New this year, alongside our beloved observation beehive exhibit, we are thrilled to introduce our captivating pond-habitat observation tank. This exciting addition offers visitors an up-close view of the diverse aquatic habitats thriving in the warm water ponds and streams on our property, as well as throughout the state of Maine. Immerse yourself in the underwater world as you observe an array of fish species and other aquatic creatures that were carefully collected from the water sources within the Arboretum, making it a true reflection of the natural ecosystems that can be found in this region. 

viles arboretum observation beehive

viles arboretum pond observation tank


Nature Exhibits

Our ever evolving wildlife and nature exhibits are designed to inspire curiosity and foster a deeper connection with the environment. We invite visitors to learn and engage with a variety of native and non-native artifacts. Explore interactive stations where you can view and identify tree, plant, and animal species. Put your tracking skills to the test and see if you can identify the footprints left behind by our native creatures. Experience the tactile wonders of nature as you feel the textures of animal fur and feathers. Take a selfie with a moose! 




History Exhibits

Through displays and artifacts, visitors can embark on a journey of how the Arboretum came to be what it is today. From the early 1800's when the area was owned by several neighboring farms, through the consolidation of these farms into a working hospital farm that produced crops and livestock, to the late 1900's and the development of the Arboretum and formation of an independent non-profit organization. 

Viles Arboretum history


Whether it's engaging with hands-on exhibits, joining informative workshops, or simply finding solace in the peaceful ambiance, the Visitor Center at Viles Arboretum offers a multitude of experiences that leave a lasting impression and foster a deep connection with the natural world.

Visitor Center Hours: Wednesday thru Saturday from 10:30am to 4:30pm