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Winter in the Arboretum

January 14, 2011
By Nancy Braker, Arboretum Director

Many of you have already been enjoying the abundant snow in the Arboretum this winter! If you have not had a chance to appreciate the quiet solitude of the prairies, forests, and oak savanna, we encourage you to get out, especially on cross country skis or snowshoes. Both are available to check out from the Recreation Center. Snowshoes are a great way to get off the trails and explore some of the more remote parts of the Arboretum. If walking is your preferred method of winter travel in the Arboretum, please observe the following winter trail use guidelines:

  • If the trail has been packed for skiing, stay to the edge of the packed area to avoid marring the ski surface with footprints. Footprints can be dangerous to skiers, catching ski tips or poles and breaking equipment or worse, causing falls and breaking arms or legs!
  • Do not walk in the track set for classical skiing (two parallel grooves). There should be room to one side or the other of the trail to walk or snowshoe without damaging the track.
  • If the snow is so soft that every step sinks in, please consider another form of exercise and come back when the snow is firmer—usually after a solid, overnight freeze.

We are in our second year of a partnership with the Northfield Schools' Cross Country Ski program. Parent volunteers of the student skiers are helping to groom the trails in the Upper Arboretum to provide a place for team workouts and meets. Both Carleton staff and the volunteers put in many hours of grooming to keep the trails a great place for skiing, and we appreciate your cooperation in keeping the trails in good shape.