800 W. College Avenue St. Peter, MN 56082
Off Hwy.169 between College Ave. and Jefferson Ave., off 7th Street
Gustavus Adolphus College
No admission fee
Restrooms in the Interpretive Center
Free parking lot at entrance
Hiking through 55 acres
These 55 acres have been cultivated as an arboretum by Gustavus Adolphus College, as a resource for their students and as an educational and inspirational resource for all visitors. The Arboretum is named for famed botanist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) who was responsible for instituting binomial, Latin nomenclature – genus and species. There is a bust of Linnaeus at the Arboretum entrance. The three natural ecosystems of Minnesota (the conifer forest of the north, the prairie of the south and west and the deciduous forest of the state’s mid-section) are represented at the Arboretum in expansive areas. These large habitats emphasize the natural associations of plants within each ecosystem. There are collections of specific woody species as well – lilacs, oaks, lindens and ironwoods. Near the entrance is an interpretive center (open selected hours) which hosts exhibits and programs and is a source for printed materials on the Arboretum. Surrounding this building are display beds of garden plants and trees not native to Minnesota. There is an herb garden, a hardy rose garden containing nearly 50 species of roses, a shaded hosta collection, a white garden and several annual and perennial planting beds. Plants are well tended and labeling, especially on deciduous trees, is good. There is a restored Swedish pioneer cabin built in 1866 which was moved onto the Arboretum grounds, within the deciduous habitat, in 1996.