Getting Around the Gardens: Lay of the Land, Free Shuttles, Cart Tours, Rental Scooters
At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, we welcome all visitors, no matter what activity level they choose. Hikers can walk miles of waterfront and woodland trails or stroll garden paths. Others may have a harder time getting around. We try to make all visitors’ experiences as interesting, enjoyable, and comfortable as possible. The following are ways we help those who are either tired from a long walk or have disabilities that limit their mobility.
The Visitor Center and Central Gardens, where our most-formal gardens are located, are ADA compliant, and there are benches placed throughout the grounds for visitors who may need to take a break. To learn more, view our Visitor Guide, including a map of the grounds. The terrain in the remainder of the campus varies. The paths range from compacted-gravel walkways to trails through wooded areas. How easy or difficult it is to traverse these areas will depend on your particular situation. There may be some areas that are inaccessible to you and your party due to the natural topography of our site. You can discuss the particulars with the Visitor Center staff.
Complimentary Shuttle Service: From May 1 through Columbus Day, electric shuttles run continuously with stops along the Birch Allée, on the Shoreland Trail, and at the Giles Rhododendron & Perennial Garden. This free service for Gardens visitors is not intended as a tour, but rather as assistance for those who find walking long distances difficult. These shuttles cannot be reserved and are first-come, first-served. This service is volunteer dependent, and while we have every intention of offering the shuttle every day, it cannot be guaranteed. The staff at the front desk in the Visitor Center will know the schedule on the day of your visit.
Accessible Cart Tours: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers one-hour tours on our quiet electric cart, led by trained Gardens docents, rain or shine. The cart can accommodate as many as five passengers. These tours are a wonderful opportunity for those who may not otherwise be able to experience the full extent of our gardens and trails. On the tour, visitors can expect to see most of the Central Gardens; portions of the Shoreland Trail, including the Vayo Meditation Garden and Fairy House Village; and the Giles Rhododendron & Perennial Garden with its terraced plantings and magnificent waterfall.
We offer Accessible Cart Tours Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., from May 1 through Columbus Day. The fee for the tour is $10 per person. Additionally, as part of its continuing civic commitment, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens provides free Accessible Cart Tours every Wednesday at both 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., from May through Columbus Day. (Admission to the Gardens is not included and should be paid at the Front Desk upon arrival.)
You can also book a private cart tour! Whether for wedding pictures, a photography shoot, as a gift or a way to see the Gardens with friends… it’s possible and plenty of fun. The charge is $50 for one to five passengers (maximum of five). These private tours also run at either 9:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and must be booked at least one week in advance.
PLEASE NOTE: Reservations are required for both paid and free Accessible Cart Tours. Because of the limited availability, booking the tours as far ahead as possible is highly recommended – at least one week ahead. Payment should be made in advance by either check or credit card. The Gardens’ regular cancellation policy (48 hours notice for a refund) applies; for the free tours, we request the same notice. To sign up, call Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens at (207) 633-4333.
Mobility Scooters at the Gardens: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is proud to offer the opportunity to rent mobility scooters to visitors. Renting the scooters is a great opportunity for those who may not otherwise be able to experience the full extent of our Gardens’ main campus. By renting a scooter, visitors can self-tour the central gardens, including the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, Haney Hillside Garden, Vayo Meditation Garden, Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden, and Bosarge Family Education Center. Scooters are not allowed on the Shoreland Trail or Birch Allée.
Visitors can rent the scooters on a first-come-first-served basis at the Front Desk in the Visitor Center by paying the fee and leaving their car keys as security. Times to rent are as follows: either for or within the time frames of 9:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m. or 1:00-4:45 p.m. The fee is $25/time frame. For more information, call our office at 633-4333, ext. 101, or visit the front desk in the Visitor Center