Three-Mile Drive

Note:  Three-Mile Drive is now open to pedestrians for walking and hiking and to visitor vehicle traffic.

Tram tours are offered from May 1 through mid-October 2015.  Also, the free-of-charge Visitor Circulators provide hop-on and hop-off service on Three-Mile Drive  Thursday - Sunday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) from late spring into fall. Thanks for sharing the roadway so all can enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Arboretum. 

Be safe on Three-Mile Drive

Spring and summer bring change for Three-Mile Drive. As an official roadway of the University of Minnesota, sharing the road is necessary so all can enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Arboretum.

Overview of "Rules of the Roadway":

  • BIcycles are welcomed back on the roadway (bicycle symbols are on center of roadway) and must abide by speed limits and are encouraged to announce yourself when approaching pedestrians from behind
  • Pedestrians are to use the newly marked pedestrian lane (parallel to roadway in most places) and encouraged to use the paved walkways and trails that bring you into the heart of the Arboretum
  • Motor vehicles must abide by speed limits and yield to others.

Thanks for your patience, respect and cooperation as these changes take effect.

More Info

Pedestrians are encouraged to use caution around vehicle traffic.  A striped lane on the right hand side of the road is designated for pedestrians when Three-Mile Drive is open to the Arboretum tram, circulators, other motorized visitor vehicles and bicycles.

For the safety of all, pedestrians are encouraged to use the system of signed pathways and trails that typically run parallel to Three-Mile Drive.  Bicyclists are expected to abide by vehicle rules of the roadway including speed limits and yielding to pedestrians in cross-walk areas.  

Three-Mile Drive is a fully paved roadway that winds through the various collections and landscapes at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Personal vehicles are typically allowed to drive this road from April to November. (The exact open and close dates will be announced, as they depend on weather.)  Walkers are welcome year 'round.

Bicycles on Three-Mile Drive
Since spring 2014, bicycles have been permitted on Three-Mile Drive, an official University of Minnesota roadway.   Bicyclists are expected to practice responsible riding, abide by roadway speed limits and yield to pedestrians in cross-walk areas. The Arboretum parallel system of signed pathways and trails offers a safer and more scenic alternative for pedestrians walking on Three-Mile Drive.  However, pedestrains who choose to continue walking on the roadway will be directed to walk in the signed pedestrian lane on the right side of the roadway--so bicyclists should use extreme caution. Scooters, skateboards and in-line skaes are not allowed on Three-Mile Drive.

Minnewashta Parkway Trail
For bicyclists passing through the Arboretum on this regional bicycling trail, there is no admission charge. If bicyclists wish to stop and visit the gardens and grounds, enter Arboretum buildings or use walkways and trails, a $5 day pass is required for trail users age 13 and up. Arboretum members and visitors ages 12 and under are free. For a day pass, please pay at the Visitor Center or at secure lock box at trail entrance. Please lock your bike securely at bicycle racks only and affix day pass tag. Thank you for your cooperation.

Three-Mile Drive features three rest stops for Visitor Circulators, which operate from late spring to early fall.  The rest stops provide partial shelter, visitor map and information on nearby trails and gardens. There also is limited seating for visitors waiting for next timed arrivals of the Visitor Circulators (which operate Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. summer to fall). Thanks for your patience as the Arboretum enhances the visitor experience.

Note: On Thursday, Sept. 10, Three-Mile Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic at 1 p.m., due to set-up for Gala in the Gardens fund-raiser event hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Foundation. The Trumpet Creeper Tram tour at 1:30 will still be operating but the 3 p.m. Tram tour will be cancelled. Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.




Join us on our two electric-powered, 11-passenger Circulators for FREE hop-on/hop-off transportation along Three-Mile Drive! This vehicle circles Three-Mile Drive on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with four stops: Home Demonstration Garden (by greenhouse), the Sculpture Garden, the Maze Garden and the Learning Center. On weekends when heavy traffic is anticipated, two circulators are in operation. See the Arboretum in a new way and out of your car!  In 2015, Circulators are operating May through summer and into fall. 

The purchase of the Circulators was the focus of the 2012 Fund-A-Need cause, part of the annual Gala in the Gardens. The addition of the Circulators is to ease some of the traffic congestion along Three-Mile Drive and bring visitors closer to the gardens and collections. Thanks to all for their donations.