The Recreation Center provides facilities and programs for a variety of types of recreation, including tennis, raquetball, aerobics, weightlifting, basketball, rock climbing, and many more. Varsity programs that use this facility for practices and competition include indoor track and field (men and women), softball, baseball, golf (men and women) and tennis (men and women). Most varsity student-athletes use this facility for strength and conditioning or for recreation use as well. Head coaches with their offices in this facility include: tennis, track and field/cross country, volleyball, baseball and softball.
The West Gymnasium houses a 1,240-seat arena that serves as the varsity basketball and volleyball court, a six-lane, 25-yard pool with one- and three-meter diving boards and seating for 350.
West Gym also contains office space for the athletics director and head coaches of men's and women's basketball, women's golf and men's and women's swimming and diving.
Adjacent to West Gym are practice soccer fields, a practice football field and two outdoor basketball courts.
Laird Stadium seats 7,500 for football and outdoor track and field meets, handball/squash courts, a batting cage and a weight room.
Circling the football field in front of the stadium is an eight-lane, 400-meter all-weather track and field facility, complete with steeplechase water jump. It was the site of the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in 1984, 1988 and 1995.
For football, Laird Stadium features one of the finest natural playing surfaces in the region. The stadium is one of the largest in Division III and the biggest west of the Mississippi.
Located on the eastern edge of the Carleton campus, Bell Field is an 11-acre site comprised of a softball diamond, championship-caliber tennis courts and two soccer fields.
Varsity tennis, softball and soccer is played here, as well as a variety of intramural and club sports.
The tennis courts are annual hosts of the MIAC Championships and the 1994 NCAA Division III Tennis Championships and the softball complex has hosted the MIAC Playoffs in 2004 and 2006. The soccer field is one of the most scenic and unique in Division III, as the field sits in a natural bowl, with fans sitting on the hillside overlooking the field. The Cowling Arboretum surrounds the field, making for a picturesque scene during the fall soccer season.
The 400-acre Cowling Arboretum provides a network of running, skiing and biking trails adjacent to the Cannon River, and serves as an outdoor laboratory for prairie restoration and oak savanna research projects.
Athletes from Carletonfrequently use the Arb for training and in the July 1996 issue of Runner's World magazine, the site was named Minnesota's best running trail.
Arboretum Tennis Courts
The six courts nestled in the woods near the entrance of Carleton's Cowling Arboretum offer protection from wind and sun. Used by Carleton varsity athletes as well as tennis classes and Carleton community members, these courts were recently resurfaced and offer the Carleton tennis programs an excellent second outdoor venue for practice and competition.
Cowling Recreation Center
Cowling Recreation Center provides a gymnasium with practice areas for volleyball and basketball, an indoor tennis practice court, a dance studio, a sauna and a 25-yard pool.
Varsity head coaches with offices in this facility include football and men's and women's soccer.
Northfield Golf Club
Northfield Golf Club, located six blocks from the Carleton College campus, is the home course for the Knights' men's and women's golf teams. Originally built in 1926, the course is one of the best-kept secrets in the region and has hosted major state events and also served as a U.S. Open qualifying site. It also hosted the 2005 Minnesota-Manitoba Junior Cup matches in August 2005. The course plays at more than 6,600 yards for the men and at 5,810 yards for the women. A mature course with large trees and fast, undulating greens, Northfield Golf Club is a true test of golf, forcing a player to hit a variety of shots during a round. Both men's and women's teams host home tournaments on this well-manicured course.
Hill of Three Oaks
Named for the large oak trees near the center of the fields, the Hill of Three Oaks is a nearly-50-acre playing field. The site is home to Carleton's Ultimate, rugby and lacrosse intercollegiate club teams and to various intramural and recreational activities. The Recreation Center sits at the edge of the fields. Located beyond Goodhue Residence Hall, the field serves as a gateway to the upper portion of Carleton's 400-acre Cowling Arboretum.
The Bald Spot Ice Rinks
Winter in Minnesota doesn't have to mean being cooped up indoors. Each year two lighted ice rinks are constructed on the Bald Spot to provide the college with arenas in which to figure skate, play hockey, or compete in Carleton's favorite winter sport, broomball (pictured here). What ultimate frisbee is to fall and spring, broomball is to winter. Floormates compete together at the "soft-core" level, while perennial powerhouses like Thor's Hammer and Big Orange Splot dominate the "mid-core" competition. The Athletic department offers a variety of classes on the rink as well, teaching beginning and intermediate figure skating, as well as hockey. Carls say there's nothing like a spirited game of broomball, played outdoors beneath a clear night sky, to warm you up in the winter.
Sand Volleyball Court
Located behind the Gould Library, the sand volleyball court is used spring and summer for intramural and recreational activity.