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Winter Activities at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Appreciate the beauty of winter in the Twin Cities at the U of M's Arboretum.

Image by Don Olson

By Claire Noack

Rolling hills and basswood forests at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum create the perfect backdrop for appreciating winter’s beauty. On display through April 9 is an enormous outdoor light installation, crafted with recycled materials by artist Bruce Munro. The internationally acclaimed artist has created dazzling lights exhibits around the world for the past 17 years.

“Winter Light at the Arboretum” features illuminated pillars created with soda bottles, flower-like sculptures, and other unique arrangements of lights that sparkle against the snow. Experience this spectacle of lights by walking through the Arboretum's Perennial Garden Thursdays through Sundays this winter season.

Another enjoyable aspect of winter at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the 8 miles of trails that wind through more than 1,200 acres of woodland and open fields. Whether you want to take a stroll through the snow or go on a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing day trip, the Arboretum has groomed trails open through March that are suited for your outing. There is a path for every ski and snowshoe skill level, and snowshoes rentals are available at the Arboretum.

Green Heron Trail Loop (1.2 miles)
This circular route provides access to all other trails and is positioned at the entry and exit point on the east side of the Snyder Building.

North Ridge Trail Loop (1 mile)
Ski and snowshoe through open fields, tree collections and maple woods on this trail with one climb and one downhill descent.

South Ridge Trail Loop (1 mile)
Two hills to climb and one long downhill make for a fun intermediate trail through fields, wetlands and a cluster of oak trees.

Ridge Trail (1 mile)
This is a more difficult trail through mature woods with large oak and basswood trees and a few challenging hills.

Prairie Trail (2.8 miles)
Trek this gently rolling trail through a tree collection to the prairie and return to take in more sights.

Lost Pond Trail (half mile)
Beginners can enjoy this trail that winds through maple and basswood forest.

For more information on the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, visit their website here.

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