Trees & Trails
Adults and children enjoy approximately five miles of trails on a hike or leisurely stroll along interactive walking paths through an urban forest and a boardwalk through wetlands in the heart of Baton Rouge. The trails are open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., seven days a week for a self-guided exploration. Trees and Trails also offers an interactive field trip program and education opportunities for Scouts, school groups and other youth organizations.
Once on Botanic Garden grounds, follow the road to the Burden Museum & Gardens Visitor Information Center. The trail head signs are behind the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie.View or download a map of the trails.
A mature tree can pull one ton of water from the soil each day. This water cools the air through evapotranspiration acting as a natural air conditioner.
In one day an average tree exhales enough oxygen to keep a family of four breathing for that day.
The oldest living thing on earth is the Bristle cone pine tree estimated to be 4,700 years old.
The world’s largest living thing, the General Sherman Giant Sequoia in California weighs 1,400 tons- as much as 300 elephants.
The tree seed that often stays in flight the longest is that of the cottonwood tree. A tiny seed is surrounded by ultra-light white fluff hairs that carry it on the air from anywhere between a minute and a couple of days.
The largest certified Oak tree in the world is one named "The Seven Sisters Oak" Mandeville, Louisiana. It measures 37 feet and 2 inches in circumference with a crown spread of 150 feet. It is estimated that it is more than 1,000 years old!
A mature oak tree can draw up to 50 or more gallons of water per day. Trees take up water through their root system. Some of the water evaporates from the leaves in a process called transpiration.
Oak trees can start producing acorns when they are 20 years old, but sometimes can go all the way to 50 years for the first production. By the time the tree is 70 to 80 years old it will produce thousands of acorns.
It is well known that squirrels hide acorns to last them through the winter season, when food is scarce. They might hide them in their homes, but they also bury them in the ground.
Field trips are available late September until Thanksgiving and March through May. One adult chaperone is required for 5 pre-K students and for 10 students above pre-K. Pre-registration is required. Download and print the registration form and send it to the Botanic Gardens by Fax or Mail. The cost is $5 per student. You may want to bring snacks for the children since there are no vending machines on the property.
The Botanic Gardens is proud to sponsor Project Learning Tree (PLT), a nationally acclaimed, award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.
The program uses nature to inspire learning and discovery. It uses the forest as a "window on the world" to
increase students' understanding of our complex environment
stimulate critical and creative thinking
develop the ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues
instill the confidence and commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment
The PLT activities are developed to increase student comprehension of grade level equivalencies (GLE's) in science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts and will increase exposure to our local ecology in the heart of one of the remaining urban forests in Baton Rouge.
Trees and Tails field trip opportunities are available in four different programs to accommodate different ages, group sizes, and learning objectives.
Pre-K - 2nd grade: Three activities are available for pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade students. It includes:
- A Children's Garden tour with instruction about beneficial and non-beneficial insects
- A lesson about "Why We Need Trees" with interactive lesson about the life cycle of a tree, exposure to the shapes, sizes, and textures of trees, and the products that come from trees
- A short hike to learn about the parts of trees and how they grow
3rd grade - 7th grade: Our traditional program can accommodate up to 70 students with learning stations on Invasive Species, Habitats and effects of habitat loss, Tree survival and reading tree rings. After a school provided picnic lunch, students can hike the Black Swamp and Magnolia Beech Trails.
3rd grade - 8th grade (large group options): Groups of up to 120 students can participate in our Woodland, Wetlands, and Wildlife program. These learning stations are stops along the hiking trails and Mosaic Black Swamp Boardwalk.
3rd grade - 8th grade: *New* Wetlands Adventure focuses on Louisiana Wetlands: different types and their importance, pond habitats, and exploring the black swamp.
Pre-registration is required. Download and print the registration form and send it to the Botanic Gardens by Fax or Mail. The cost is $5 per student. You may want to bring snacks for the children since there are no vending machines on the property.