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Reconnect with nature in Boxerwood

Nestled amidst the serene beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a tiny verdant sanctuary known to locals simply as Boxerwood. This 15-acre Nature Center and Woodland Garden lies just outside the city limits of historic Lexington, Virginia, beckoning to nature lovers and adventurers of all ages. Open daily from dawn to dusk and free to the public, the privately owned garden is run by an environmental education nonprofit, Boxerwood Education Association. A true gem in Rockbridge County, the garden relies on the generosity of donations and memberships to safeguard its natural splendor. 

The garden was first established in the 1950s, opened to the public in the 1990s, and became a nonprofit in 2000. Boxerwood has become a haven for nature enthusiasts, boasting a diverse tapestry of horticultural specimens from around the world. From tranquil meadows and primordial wetlands to vibrant gardens teeming with pollinators, birds, and wildlife, every visit promises a new discovery.

Conveniently located near interstates 81, 64, and downtown Lexington, Boxerwood offers more than just a pit stop. It’s an immersive journey into the heart of nature, complemented by nearby attractions like Natural Bridge State Park, Dinosaur Kingdom II, and the storied Blue Ridge Parkway.  Be sure to add this to your travel itinerary, along with local restaurants, craft breweries, wineries, art galleries, and cultural activities at two universities.

Among Boxerwood’s many delights, the signature PlayTrail stands out—a whimsical playground where youngsters use their imaginations in a mud kitchen, explore Tiny House Mountain, and perch within a life-sized birdhouse. Likewise, the Fairy Forest sparks creativity in all ages, inviting visitors to construct whimsical dwellings for wee folk.

For birdwatchers and naturalists alike, Boxerwood is a paradise. Monthly bird walks offer avian enthusiasts a chance to spot feathered friends.  The collection of unique trees showcases botanical wonders from around the globe and locally, each with its own story waiting to be uncovered.  The story of Boxerwood’s transition to showcasing native species is part of its mission to educate the public about being good stewards of the environment.  Something is blooming in every season.

Throughout the year, Boxerwood hosts an array of special events that draw visitors from far and wide. From the toe-tapping rhythms of the summer concert series, Music in the Garden, to the enchanting glow of the Pumpkin Walk in October, there’s always something special afoot at Boxerwood. And come December, the Gifts of Nature celebration invites guests to craft edible nature inspired ornaments and wreaths for wild birds—a festive tradition not to be missed.  The Boxerwood events page or Facebook and Instagram sites are the best places to discover everything that is being offered. 

Many events are low cost to encourage anyone wishing to participate.  At Boxerwood, walking outdoors is free and accessible to all, but we accept any donations to help maintain the Garden and support Boxerwood’s non-profit mission.

With a leash in hand, furry companions are welcome to explore alongside their human counterparts, provided all adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an immersive adventure, Boxerwood offers an unparalleled opportunity to reconnect with nature and foster a deeper appreciation for the natural world we call home. So pack your sense of wonder and embark on a journey through this botanical paradise—a sanctuary where every season brings new joys and discoveries.

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