A woman skiing on a snowy field.

The Arboretum is a great place get outside to play in the snow! Many of our trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. If you don’t have your own gear, members of the Carleton community (employees and students), can check their equipment out from the Recreation Center. Non-college winter users might rent their equipment locally from Farmstead Bike Shop.

Classic and skate skiing The trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing.  The trails in the Upper Arboretum are specifically groomed for skate skiing with classic track also set, while only small portions of the trails in the Lower Arboretum are wide enough to allow skate skiing. 

Skijoring, the sport of being pulled by a dog (or other animal) is not allowed on our ski trail system.

Snowshoeing | This is a great time of year to get “off-trail” and explore parts of the Arb you have not seen during the growing season when the vegetation is dense or the floodplain along the river is wet. Please snowshoe only on the ungroomed trails or on the very edge of the groomed trails.

Go For a Walk | When walking through the Arb in the winter, walk only on the un-groomed trails, or on the very edge (single file) of the groomed trails. Groomed trails are first packed with a roller, then smoothed and a parallel track set at the edge, or two tracks set, one on either edge. Un-groomed trails will only have footprints.

All trails are considered multiple use, so walkers or snowshoe users may be encountered at any time.  Walkers/snowshoers are encouraged to stay to the side of the trail to limit damage to the grooming, and are especially asked to stay off of the portion of the trail tracked for cross country skiers.

We ask your cooperation in keeping the Arboretum ski trails in good shape.  During the winter the Arboretum staff and volunteers spend many hours grooming the trails to create a great skiing opportunity.  While it may look like the trails are packed to allow you to walk more easily we are really working to make the trails great for skiing!  Please help us maintain them by not walking on the groomed surface. 

Walking/running/snowshoeing on the groomed trail surface mars the smooth surface that skiers need for a safe experience.  Footprints catch ski tips and poles and are very hard to remove from the groomed trail.  It is especially important to not walk in the tracks set at one side or the other, or sometimes both sides of the trail – those sets of parallel groves are important to skiers! 

Current Trail Conditions: 

Skinnyski.com – Carleton Arboretum Trails Report

Submit A Trail Report On Skinnyski The reports are only useful to the extent that people contribute to them!  Please report on conditions good or poor, and note which parts of the Arb you skied.

Minnesota DNR snow depth map and state park trail conditions