Central Indiana Birding Opportunities - Hayes Arboretum

Hayes Arboretum, located on the northeast outskirts of Richmond, Indiana, spans 466 acres, with 330 acres open to the public.


Its diverse landscape includes woodlands, meadows, swamps, ponds, and streams. The predominant old-growth Beech-Maple forest, constituting 3% of Indiana’s old-growth forests, is complemented by ponds, wetlands, prairies, and Indian mounds. Sixteen miles of trail, including eight miles of mountain bike trail and a three-mile paved auto loop, facilitate exploration with the main entrance featuring a nature center, pollinator garden, and a bird viewing area.

Despite eBird records dating back to only 2017, 144 species have been reported, likely representing around 180 species. Of these, 134 are reported annually.

The forests offer a thriving habitat for warblers, vireos, thrushes, flycatchers, and tanagers. Common sightings include Wild Turkey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Eastern Screech-Owl, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Pileated Woodpecker, and a variety of warblers such as Cerulean, Black-throated Blue, and Kentucky Warbler. The prairies, adorned with native grasses and flowers, host American Goldfinch, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Eastern Kingbird, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Ponds, swamps, and wetlands attract Mallard, Wood Duck, Green Heron, Sora, and Common Yellowthroat. Rarer sightings include Alder Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeak, Golden-winged Warbler, and American Bittern. Historical records suggest the presence of Eastern Whip-poor-will and Ruffed Grouse.

eBird Hotspot Link: ebird.org/hotspot/L6680228

Total Birding Time:
4 hours

Best Times to Bird: 
Year-round, with peak birds from April
through September.



Address: 801 Elks Rd, Richmond, IN 47374
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The east side entrance is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The east side entrance is open every day before dusk.
Ownership: Stanley W. Hayes Research Foundation
Admission: Free
Parking: The paved parking area (801 Elks Rd) in front of the Nature Center is accessible from Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. East Side Trailhead (corner of Hayes Arboretum Road and Woodside Drive) offers parking, open daily from dawn to dusk.
Nearby Amenities: Restrooms and a water fountain can be found within the Nature Center. Less than 3 minutes from stores, restaurants, auto shops, and hotels. Positioned off Highway 40 and within 5 minutes of I-70, it enjoys proximity to Glen Miller Park, Middle Fork Reservoir, and Cope Environmental Center. The arboretum is a short drive to Whitewater Memorial State Park and Brookville Lake, providing diverse recreational options within a 30-minute radius.
Accessibility: A three-mile paved auto loop is accessible for hiking and vehicles.
Website: visitcope.org
Phone Number: (765) 962-3745

Written by: Jeremy Proeschel
Photo by:
Jenilee Braun