Ohio Fall Colors at Holden Arboretum and Stickwork


Holden Arboretum is a safe haven, a reminder that there is endless and abundant beauty in this world, it’s a place where your soul can relax and your inner child can play. And after our visit back on the 11th of August, when we stumbled upon dozens of individuals playing with sticks we couldn’t wait to return to see what they were creating! And of course we wanted to experience the Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower during one of the most beautiful seasons in the Midwest. It is my hope that these images and our experience brighten your day and hopefully inspire you to visit this living, ever evolving, and beautiful outdoor museum with your family. 

Holden Arboretum Forest & Garden

Address: 9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094

Phone: (440) 946-4400

Website: https://holdenarb.org/

Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 9AM-5PM, Closed Mondays

Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for children three to 12 years old & free for children 2 and under

Amenities: Picnic Area (outdoor food welcomed-no alcohol), Restrooms are located in the Visitor Center (must wear a mask), Vending Machine with cold water and pop (was sold out when we got there at 1P, just FYI)

We began our our visit down the path of “Whoodunit” ….fun, Halloween/Fall festivity inspired “mystery” for the kiddos and kids at heart to enjoy as they walk the gardens. 

Stickwork “Tilt-a-Whirl” 

Patrick Dougherty’s Stickwork  – twisting mazes, towering castles and hedges full of faces – have been featured in more than 300 locations around the world from Scotland to Japan to Brussels, and all over the United States. This is the first time he is coming to Northeast Ohio.

Thirty-eight of these works are collected in “Stickwork,” a monograph-memoir, published by Princeton Architectural Press. He also is the subject of a film documentary called “Bending Sticks.” Dougherty has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Factor Prize for Southern Art, North Carolina Artist Fellowship Award, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, Japan-US Creative Arts Fellowship, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. More information is available at www.stickwork.net.

Kalberer Emergent Tower

When we arrived at the Emergent Tower we were fortunate that there wasn’t too long of a wait, we masked up, and began our climb 120 feet or approximately 12 stories.  We stopped at the various landings to read the educational signs that helped the children understand how exactly a tree can sway with the wind without breaking or falling over. And then the piece de resistance, THAT GORGEOUS AUTUMN VIEW!! 

The Murch Canopy Walk

WOW! Being submerged in the beautiful warm Fall colors was an experience that left me speechless, and trust me, that never happens, lol! 

The Canopy Walk is a 500-foot-long elevated walkway built 65 feet above the forest floor so you are literally in the forest, emerged in the habitats of forest creatures, and legit “in a live classroom” so to speak, learning how snakes climb trees, bats live beneath bark high in the trees, how frogs camouflage with the trees….and so much more! It was so much fun I don’t even think the kids realized they were learning.

We will definitely be coming back! We’ve experienced this amazing outdoor living museum in both the summer and fall, it only seems right to stop by in the winter and spring….and though we can’t take anything physically with us, we can take the calm, peaceful, serine memories and channel them on some of our more stressful days.

Thank you Holden Arboretum for another amazing experience & a memory to be treasured for a lifetime!

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