Brenton Arboretum

This outing ended up being pretty funny. I was looking to be outside in the quiet but the crusty coating on the snow made for some pretty loud snowshoeing. CRUNCH!!! CRUNCH!!! CRUNCH!!!! I couldn’t help but laugh. Wildlife out in the cold heard me coming and headed for cover. In order to hear birdsong I had to stop walking. I didn’t get the quiet I was looking for but I’ll find it once the snow’s gone. Hopefully soon!


The  Brenton Arboretum can be found in an unsuspecting location in between farm fields south of Dallas Center. With seven different grass trails and the gravel drive, there are lots of options for getting around the museum of trees.  It is also less than 3 miles from the Raccoon River Valley Trail via gravel roads.

The arboretum was created by the Brenton family using land purchased in 1853 for $1.25 an acre. Over 2,000 trees are included in the collection.  Each are labeled with its botanical name.  Maps of the park and the location of trees are listed on maps available in the kiosk just inside the park.  A playscape and pavilion provide great spots for spending time with the family out in nature.  Lots of events take place throughout the year.  For all the details check out the Brenton Arboretum website.