Visitors are welcome at Mepkin Abbey, which is privately owned and is home for Trappist monks. Living according to the Rule of St. Benedict, the monks offer hospitality to strangers. At Mepkin, that means that the abbey’s gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Reception Center/Gift Shop is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (closed on Mondays); guided tours to the Abbey Church are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (See details below) To maintain their lives of prayer, silence, privacy and solitude, the monks have a few important requests of all visitors:
• Upon arrival, please check in at the Reception Center/Gift Shop.
• Read and abide by all signs.
• Only two roads are open to the public: the main road which runs from the entrance to the public gardens, and the road which leads to the Reception Center & Store. Please stay on these two roads.
• Dogs must be on leashes at all times. (Please pick up after your dog.)
• Access to the Abbey church is by guided tour only. This access is limited because the church is in the monastic enclosure, the heart of the monastery.
• No professional photography allowed.
Guided tours to the Abbey Church are 11:30 AM and 3:00 PM Tuesdays to Saturdays. Tours are $5 per person (children and students free) which includes a guidebook of either the Gardens or the Monastery. (Note: The guided church tours include a walk from the Reception Center to the Abbey Church, a distance of about a quarter of a mile.) Reservations required for groups of 10 or more.
Visitors may enjoy the public gardens at their leisure.
Once a month, on a Wednesday, the monks have a day of total silence and solitude. They call these the “Retreat Days” and no tours of the monastery are given on these days. However, the Reception Center/Gift Shop and the gardens are open.
Upcoming Retreat Days:
April 10 – 24
May 1 – 22
June 5 – 19
July 3 – 17
August 7 – 21
September 4 – 18
October 2 – 16
November 6 – 20
December 4 – 18