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Minneapolis, MN: Cowling Arboretum

mn

Star Star

Distance: 2.6 miles


Restorations-in-progress add an educational twist to this easy, 2.6-mile hike outside of Minneapolis in Carleton College's Cowling Arboretum.
  • Bur Oak
  • Bridge
  • Entrance
  • River's Edge
  • Trail
  • Prairie
  • Wind Power
  • River
  • Hiking

Just 35 miles south of Minnesota, the college town of Northfield is the setting for this 2.6-mile lollipop loop through “the Arb”—an 880-acre plot owned by Carleton College. Start at a signed trailhead just off of Highway 19 and head north past tennis courts to the banks of the Cannon River. The hard-packed and gravel trail winds along the Cannon River and through quiet lowland meadow before bearing east and climbing 50 feet to a ridge—admire the prairie and oak savanna restoration sites, and views of the surrounding countryside. Stands of bur oak near mile 0.8 are impressive, and during spring and summer watch for bursts of wildflower color. At mile 1.3 you'll reach the route's northern terminus and descend from the ridge toward the banks of the Cannon River before closing the loop.

This sampling of spur trails and hidden paths is popular for trail running in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, but plan to come back and explore the areas other trails.

-Mapped by Steve Johnson

Trail Reviews & Comments

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star
James
Mar 13, 2014

Your article starts out "Just 35 miles south of Minnesota...." When talking about Northfield. As a longtime MN resident and having had a cousin go to Carleton College in Northfield, I can tell you with all certainty that Northfield is in Minnesota, not 35 Miles south of it. Perhaps you meant to say "35 miles south of Minneapolis" which is much nearer the truth ..... ;) Just giving you a hard time! I know what you meant!

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