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Promoting a healthy body

The Northland Arboretum boasts nearly 20 kilometers (12 miles) of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing with nearly 5 kilometers lighted for evening skiing. The trails are designed to accommodate all ages and skill levels and are considered among the best in Minnesota. The arboretum is used extensively by junior high and high school runners and skiers for both practice and competition.

In winter months, the trails are groomed professionally by the Brainerd Nordic Ski Club.

Biking is prohibited on the grounds of the Northland Arboretum.

Arboretum trails are open sun-up to sundown every day of the year. We ask for a Gate Fee of $5 per adult and $1 per child 15 & under. There is no charge for Arboretum members.

After-hours payments can be made at the drop box at the trailhead at the Visitor Center parking lot or online by clicking the button below. The payment stub should be on your person or placed in your vehicle window or you must be able to show your receipt on your phone.

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Nordic Ski Club

Our Roots

The Brained Nordic Ski Club is a treasured partner of the Northland Arboretum. Through a grant and aid program from the DNR, they groom our trails. They host the youth ski league lessons. Host Lumberjack Jaunt, typically in January.


Summer Trails

Open dusk to dawn, seven days a week to offer respite to residents and visitors. Sit in the gazebo, linger on the bridge, stroll along a path or wind through the winter woods on skis—whether you have an hour or a day, tranquility will surely enhance your visit. 

There are many magnificent gardens to view including the Garden Gazebo, where many beautiful weddings have been held. There are also other gardens that feature a memorial area, water falls and aquatic plants.

This site has a mosaic of habitats including grasslands and restored prairie, jack pine forest, wetlands, a stream, shrub bog and of special importance, a jack pine savanna. Native jack pine and bur oak dominate the sand plain, but beautiful gardens of wild and cultivated flowers have been carved into the setting.

Recreation: Who We Are

Winter Trails

The Northland Arboretum cross country trails are rated beginner to moderate. The12+ kilometers of trails are groomed by the Brainerd Nordic Ski Club. The ski club provides 4.5 km of lit trails for evening skiing from 4:30 pm - 10 pm each night. All of the trails are groomed for dual use, both classic and skating.

If you are 16 or older, you must have The Great Minnesota Ski pass to ski on groomed trails in Minnesota state parks, state forests, or on state or Grant-In-Aid trails. Daily passes are available at the Arboretum visitor center. Yearly passes are available wherever DNR permits and licenses are sold. Sign your ski pass and be sure to carry your pass with you every time you go skiing.

Your ski pass fee helps support Minnesota's cross-country ski trail system.

Current ski conditions at the Arboretum can be found at

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Snowshoe Trails

The Northland Arboretum has 4 kilometers (2+miles) of marked snowshoe trails. The marked trails wander through the prairie restoration area, fitness trail and into the Jack Pine Savannah following game and other trails. The snowshoe trails are marked with green signs with the snowshoe logo on them. At different locations, ski and snowshoe trails intersect. Please look for signage on the trail for directions and your location. Reminder - you can be fined by the MN DNR for walking, snowshoeing or walking dogs on groomed ski trails. Dogs on a leash are allowed on snowshoe trails.

We rent snowshoes at $20 for a 2 hour rental. They are available at the Visitor Center.

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Fitness Trail

The community-supported Fitness Trail was created with the health and well-being of our visitors in mind. With 2 miles of surfaced trails and 11 fitness stations, adults and children of all ages will enjoy getting their sweat on in one of the most beautiful spaces in the Brainerd/Baxter area. The trail is handicap accessible, ensuring that members and visitors of all abilities can enjoy it.

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