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Taltree Arboretum & Gardens


450 West 100 North
Valparaiso, IN 46385
Last Updated: December 20, 2017




About Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

Taltree Arboretum is a 360 acre reserve of formal gardens, wetlands, woodlands and prairies.

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens located south of U.S. 30 between Merrillville and Valparaiso, Indiana, is a 360 acre reserve of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands and prairies. Whether hiking the 3+ miles of trails or attending an outdoor concert of special event, visitors have enjoyed Taltree's quiet beauty interspersed with friendly festivity since 1999. Themed displays include the Hitz Family Rose Garden, Native Plant Garden, Oak Islands and the Taltree Railway Garden. Feel yourself decompress from the rigors of life as your senses of sight, scent and sound are invigorated. Rekindle your imagination in the company of birds, insects and furry mammals that inhabit this spectacular refuge. Whether you come to relax or get some exercise, you’ll experience no lines or crowds. On a typical day in the arboretum, every visitor can claim a quiet corner.

Explore nearly four miles of trails through restored woodland, prairie and wetland. Catch a glimpse of migrating birds from the vantage point of Window on the Wetlands. Listen to an outdoor concert or claim a quiet corner for a picnic. Enjoy the scents and sounds of the Rose and Native Plant Gardens. Gather inspiration from the ever-changing displays in the Welcome Garden.

Visit Taltree’s award-winning Railway Garden, with its hand-crafted bridges, water features, and vignettes that pay tribute to the Steam Era of American Railroad History. Learn about the range of oak species grown in temperate climates by touring Oak Islands, an exhibit showcasing oaks of Europe, Asia and North America. Our 360 acres is a peaceful refuge for wildlife and people. Whether you choose to relax in a quiet corner or explore natural areas, Taltree offers a unique mix of diversions.

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is a remarkable asset to the South Lake Michigan region. In 1997, Damien and Rita Gabis, founders of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, realized that one of the problems of population growth was the loss of green space with its corresponding detrimental effect on people. Making plans to offer a solution, they envisioned a place where people would come to be refreshed and restored, find inspiration and creativity in nature, and learn about horticulture and ecology.

During the spring of 1998 Taltree staff and volunteers planted 35 acres of warm season prairie and more than 7000 oaks and hickories. Soon thereafter a large wetland that had been drained for agriculture was restored. Trails connecting each area were constructed enabling people to easily explore Taltree. Since that time numerous species of mammals, birds, insects, invertebrates, and amphibians have come to call Taltree home.

• Present an extensive collection of trees and other plants that are native to the South Lake Michigan Region and other similar regions of the world
• Provide professionally designed gardens
• Pursue education and research in arboriculture, horticulture, botany, conservation, restoration, ecology, and natural history
• Conserve and restore Taltree’s natural areas
• Maintain a cultural environment of natural beauty and diversity

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, a 501(c)3 public charity, offers over 360 acres of reserved woody plant collections, gardens, woodlands, savanna, wetlands, and prairie with more than four miles of hiking trails that allow visitors to experience the natural biodiversity of the landscape. Themed displays include the Hitz Family Rose Garden, Native Plant Garden, Oak Islands, and the Taltree Railway Garden.  Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is open all year round and located just south of U.S. Hwy. 30 between Merrillville and Valparaiso, IN at 450 West 100 North. As a public charity foundation, Taltree relies on financial support from corporations, organizations and individuals. For more information, please visit, e-mail or call (219) 462-0025.

Taltree will improve quality of life and increase economic vitality in the South Lake Michigan region by preserving green space, establishing significant woody plant collections in beautiful display gardens, hosting cultural events and encouraging people to enjoy, appreciate, and take pride in our natural heritage.

Taltree Arboretum and Gardens will establish and maintain woody plant collections, gardens, and natural areas for the benefit of the people in the South Lake Michigan Region.


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The Haunted Railroad & Fall Festival - October 1 - 31

Held the month of October, The Haunted Railroad & Fall Festival is sure to be a spooky good time. This family friendly event kicks off with a haunted Halloween railway garden of skeleton conductors, ghost passengers, spiders, haunted houses and more. On weekends, there will be Sprout Express rides, hayrides, creepy crafts, and festive foods such as hot cider and kettle corn.

Hayrides - October 1 - 31

Throughout the month of October, your group can enjoy a tractor-drawn hayride weekdays.* This experience will take guests into the depths of the arboretum to explore areas that most visitors do not see. Hayrides are approximately 25 minutes long. Reservation is for up to 30 people.

Group Bonfires - November 1 - 30

Staff will tend the fires along the north pond to create a hassle-free experience for guests. Roasting sticks and some seating will be provided. Reservation is for up to 30 people for three hours (7-10 pm). $5 per person S’more and hot dog packages available. Bonfires are $75 per group. There are five reservations available each night. Outside food and drink allowed, but no alcohol. Guests are encouraged to wear warm clothing and bring their own seating and flashlights. Rain checks will be available, if necessary. To reserve your space call 219-462-0025 or email Enhance your experience by booking a hayride.

A Night of Edgar Allan Poe - November 9th. 7pm - 8:30pm

Come for an evening of radio-style, terrifying tales by candlelight. Enjoy coffee and dessert while listening to these great dark and moody classics – The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, and The Masque of the Red Death. These auto-classics are read by legendary British actor Basil Rathbone, famed for his 1920s-1960s theater and movie career. His most famous roles include Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes. Coffee is includes with admission. Pie, hot cider, and hot chocolate will be available for purchase. Recommended for adults only. Minimum of 20 people needed for event to take place.

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