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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 Abbey Arboretum

HikeSaint John's Abbey 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 Outdoor University offices in the New Science Center.


Bike the Abbey Arboretum

BikingAbbey 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 Abbey Arboretum

SkiCross-country ski trails in the Abbey Arboretum are groomed for the benefit of the ski team, faculty, staff, students, members of the CSB and SJU communities, and Outdoor University members. 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 Outdoor University at the $40 Family yearly membership level to support the trails.


Snowshoe the Abbey Arboretum

SnowshoesVenture off the beaten path with your pair of snowshoes! Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the Abbey Arboretum except on groomed winter ski trails. 



Fishing the Abbey Arboretum

FishingThere is no public access to any of the lakes in Saint John's Abbey Arboretum. (Although all Minnesota water is public, users may only cross private land with permission.) However, Saint John's allows fish from the shoreline as long as individuals respect the Abbey's land and follow all DNR regulations. Please avoid fishing along sensitive shores and remember to remove all garbage, unused bait, or dead fish. See the Saint John's Abbey Lake and Water Policy for more information.

Swimming the Abbey Arboretum

SwimmingThe 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.



Boating in the Abbey Arboretum

CanoeingAlthough there is no public boat access to any of the lakes at the Abbey 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 community, only non-motorized boats or canoes are allowed. See the Saint John's Abbey Lake & Water Policy for more information.


Sledding in the Abbey Arboretum

SleddingGrab your sled or your snowboard 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. Check out sleds at the OLC!


Photograph the Abbey Arboretum

PhotographyThere is no shortage of photo opportunities in the Abbey Arboretum. Bring your camera and head outside to capture your great moments! Enter any photos you take in the Abbey Arboretum in the Outdoor University Annual Photo Contest, or just enjoy your photos on your own.


Orienteering in the Abbey Arboretum

OrienteeringTest your skills on the Outdoor University Orienteering Course in the Abbey Arboretum. The orienteering course is located in the Oak Savannah. We have designed several courses for various skill levels, so grab your compass and head outside!


iNaturalist in the Abbery Arboretum

Have you ever wanted to know what to call those purple wildflowers in the prairie? Or wondered what kind of bird you spotted flying over Lake Sag? Well now there's an easier way to identify what you see! iNaturalist can help you keep track of animals and plants in the Abbey Arboretum. Use your camera or the iNaturalist app on your cellphone to snap a picture of your observations and then share them with the online community of nature lovers at 

Geocaching in the Abbey Arboretum

GPSUse your GPS to locate the geocaches located in the Saint John's Abbey Arboretum!