Low Impact Activities
Saint John's Abbey welcomes the public to enjoy the trails and beauty of its natural Arboretum. The activities listed below do not require explicit permission, but we ask that you follow these guidelines and are respectful of the land.
Hike the Arboretum
Saint John's Arboretum has more than 15 miles of hiking trails. No pets or unauthorized motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails, but they're beautiful for hiking and jogging! No hiking on groomed ski trails, please! Trail maps are available outside the Arboretum offices in the New Science Center.
Bike the Arboretum
Arboretum trails are not for biking, but you can cycle on any paved surface at Saint John's. Bike down the Old Entrance Road and across the footbridge over I-94 to access the Lake Wobegon Trail, a 46-mile long hiking and biking trail.
Ski the Arboretum
Cross-country ski trails in the Arboretum are groomed for the benefit of the ski team, faculty, staff, students, members of the CSB and SJU communities, and the Arboretum. All of the grooming is performed by volunteer efforts of a few individuals plus the help of a student employee. We collect no trail fees, but if you enjoy the ski trails, we recommend joining Saint John's Arboretum at the $40 Supporting yearly membership level to support the trails.
Venture off the beaten path with your pair of snowshoes! Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the Arboretum except on groomed winter ski trails.
There is no public access to any of the lakes at Saint John's Arboretum. (Although all water in Minnesota is public, users may only cross private land with permission.) However, Saint John's allows people to fish the shoreline as long as they are respectful of the Abbey's land and follow all DNR regulations. Please avoid fishing along shore areas sensitive to erosion and remember to remove any garbage, unused bait, or dead fish. See the Saint John's Abbey Lake and Water Policy for more information.
The Saint John's Abbey beach is private beach for the Saint John's University, College of Saint Benedict, and Saint John's Prep communities, as well as their guests. Swimming is allowed only during beach hours and in the designated area.
Although there is no public boat access to any of the lakes at Arboretum, Saint John's allows people to access the lakes at designated points. In order to provide a quiet and peaceful outdoor experience for the Arboretum community, only non-motorized boats or canoes are allowed. See the Saint John's Abbey Lake & Water Policy for more information.
Grab your sled or your snowbard and head to the Saint John's sledding hill! You can sled anytime you want, but please do not build jumps on the hill and always be mindful of other users travelling up and down the hill. Locate the sledding hill with this map.
Photograph the Arboretum
There is no shortage of photo opportunities in the Arboretum. Bring your camera and head outside to capture your great moments! Enter any photos you take in the Arboretum in our Annual Photo Contest, or just enjoy your photos on your own.
Test your skills on the Arboretum Orienteering Course. The orienteering course is located in the Oak Savanna. We have designed several courses for various skill levels, so grab your compass and head outside!
Use your GPS to locate the geocaches located in the Saint John's Arboretum!