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The Russell W. Johnson Nature Trail winds its way around the perimeter of the Bethel University Campus in St. Paul, MN. The trail passes through or by oak savannah, the littoral zone of Lake Valentine, a wet meadow, lowland cottonwood forest, upland oak-maple forest, wetlands, groves of conifer trees planted by Russ and his students, and the campus tall grass prairie.

View the nature trail map and learn more information by downloading the nature trail brochure (pdf).

History of the Nature Trail

The Russell W. Johnson Nature Trail is named in honor of Russ Johnson, Associate Professor of Biology who began teaching at Bethel in 1951 and continued teaching until 2000. Russ not only was the founder Biology and Science at Bethel, but was an active and dynamic advocate for and lover of the natural Creation and our role as humans as stewards of that Creation, entrusted to us by our Creator. Russ helped develop nature trails for many camps and organizations and so officially naming the campus nature trail in his honor is only fitting.