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Cowling Arboretum at Carleton College

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Address: 100 S College Street, Contiguous with the campus; either side of Highway 19, Northfield, MN 55057
Phone Number: 507-646-5413
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 13
  • 5
    Very good
  • 2
  • 0
  • 0
A lovely place to walk

Perfect hike filled with peaceful beauty. Wide paved path. Stop at the Japanese garden to rest. Other little gems to see along the way.

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 15, 2015
Jean G
St. Paul, MN
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20 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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  • English first
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English first
St. Paul, MN
Level Contributor
58 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2015

Perfect hike filled with peaceful beauty. Wide paved path. Stop at the Japanese garden to rest. Other little gems to see along the way.

Thank Jean G
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2015

The grounds people were very nice and helpful. We found a lovely spot that the first sermon and wedding that was performed in Northfields.

Thank Julie B
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
91 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

The arboretum is a wonderful 900 acre expanse open to anyone for whatever reason they so please. It has over 20 miles of trails, multiple fields, and tons of awesome niche areas to explore. Its location right on the back of Carleton College's campus is convenient for all of the students.

Thank Alexander Y
Northfield, Minnesota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

The "Arb" is a large aboretum with many trails (maps available at the Carleton bookstore) so you can vary your routes. Many areas are "restored" to prairie, but it is pleasure to use any time of the year.

Thank George C
Bend, Oregon
Level Contributor
156 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

Our son graduated from Carleton and he only passed through the Arb a zillion times on his way to the gym or Ultimate practice. Not sure he ever saw it the way we did a few weeks ago. Perfect weather, tons of wildlife, other graduate parents wandering the paths. A great place to just decompress or relish the brilliant idea... More 

Thank JA R
St.Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
675 reviews
234 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 311 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2015

Very pretty hike, for 10 minutes or a couple of hours. Can be combined with a visit to Carleton College, or just as a lovely place to walk.

Thank Seniordad
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

This arboretum is well worth a visit. There are wide trails leading through the woods and along the river. Download a map before you go--the arboretum office appears to be closed so there is very little information once you arrive.

1 Thank SCL60
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2015

This is a great place to walk in a wonderful hardwood forest along the beautiful Cannon River. This is also a good birding location.

Thank Jon A
Roseville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
131 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2014

The advantage that Carleton and many rural colleges have is land. Their campus isn't the absolute prettiest in the country, but it is spacious. The Arb, as another reviewer has said, isn't really an arboretum in the sense that the University of Minnesota has an arboretum (about an hour's drive to the northwest)--it isn't a carefully maintained collection of trees... More 

1 Thank pdwschmidt
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

Owned and maintained by Carleton College, "The Arb" is open to the public. It is divided by Highway 19--the Lower Arb runs along the Cannon River and the Upper Arb is at a slightly higher elevation just to the east. While both sides of The Arb are nice, I prefer the Lower Arb because it is larger and has more... More 

Thank Amy G

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