Midwest Living Review
Cowling Arboretum provides trails that fall somewhere between more than a walk, but less than a hike. The scenic 880-acre preserve sits along the Cannon River and is adjacent to Carleton College. You'll often see students and faculty running, biking or walking dogs along the trails.
The main paths are paved and bike-friendly; offshoots are dirt or gravel. Most are flat with just a few mild inclines, and the college's sports fields are often within sight. Though not exactly rugged, the arboretum feels isolated and offers refuge to plenty of prairie and woodland wildlife, including an impressive display of spring wildflowers. There are several loop trails of varying lengths: Print a map off the website before you go. The well-maintained trails aren't well marked.