Ladew Nature Walk

Ladew’s Nature Walk allows people of all ages to explore various wildlife habitats.

MONKTON — In addition to award-winning formal gardens, a historic Manor House and native Butterfly House, Ladew Gardens features a mile-long Nature Walk that traverses 34 acres. Established in 1999, the Nature Walk’s unaltered natural landscape provides an intentional contrast to the cultivated, formal gardens and allows guests to experience the various wildlife habitats at Ladew.

Features of the Nature Walk include educational stations along the trail, a boardwalk through wetland forest, a bird blind and freshwater marsh. Over the past 20 years, the Nature Walk has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, captured hearts and minds, and served as the centerpiece for Ladew’s children’s environmental education programs.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Nature Walk, Ladew commissioned a Nature Walk-inspired entrance gate, developed new family-friendly educational and informative signage, constructed a new bird-watching blind, added floating wetlands and upgraded the boardwalk.

On Saturday, Sept. 14, Ladew will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Nature Walk. The festivities will take place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and will include guest speakers, along with art, music and environmental learning stations featuring live animals.

The celebration will also include the dedication of the new Nature Walk gate, which was designed by Baltimore artist Linda DePalma. DePalma’s work embraces the fluidity and mysteries of nature, reveling in curves and the interlacing plant or cellular forms. Her gate design depicts the flora and fauna that live throughout Ladew’s Nature Walk. DePalma has designed and fabricated a number of public artworks in the Baltimore/Washington regional area.

Admission to the anniversary celebration is included in the cost of general admission: free for Ladew members; $13 adults; $10 seniors (62+) and students;$4 children (12 and under). There is an additional $5 for a docent-led tour of the historic Manor House.

Ladew extends its thanks to the France-Merrick Foundation, Delaplaine Foundation Inc., Campbell Foundation, and BG&E Green Grant for their support of this important project.

Ladew Topiary Gardens has been named “One of the Top 5 Gardens in North America”; deemed “the most outstanding topiary garden in America” by the Garden Club of America; and featured as one of “10 incredible topiary gardens around the world” by Architectural Digest.

Ladew is located on Jarrettsville Pike (MD 146), 14 miles north of the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), exit 27B (Dulaney Valley Road North). For more information, call 410-557-9570 or visit

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