Outdoorsy Travel

With more than 10,000 lakes, 4,000 miles of paved bike trails, 76 state parks and the country’s only freshwater-based national park, Minnesota is a nature lover’s dream. Canoe the Boundary Waters, trek the Superior Hiking Trail, mountain bike in Cuyuna, or go birding along the Pine to Prairie Trail. In winter, traverse the snowy landscape via skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles or even dogsleds. And of course, fishing and hunting are year-round pursuits. Find more outdoorsy activities below, add them to your favorites, and plan your Minnesota adventure today.
 

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  1. Find Creature Comforts in the Midst of Wild Nature

    Find Creature Comforts in the Midst of Wild Nature

    The Boundary Waters is a true wilderness preserved within Superior National Forest’s 3 million acres, and offers its many visitors an experience of a lifetime. But it isn’t the only place to take in the area’s beauty. Much of the forest shares the BWCAW’s distinctive, rugged beauty.

  2. Ice Climbing in Minnesota: More Chess Than Chest-Bumps

    Ice Climbing in Minnesota: More Chess Than Chest-Bumps

    Although ice climbing may seem like an extreme sport, climbers describe the activity as meditative and deliberate. Begin your ascent by attending one of Minnesota's annual ice climbing festivals.

  3. Stellar Skies & Northern Lights Illuminate the North Star State

    Stellar Skies & Northern Lights Illuminate the North Star State

    Learn how to photograph the northern lights, discover #OnlyinMN stargazing spots and plan your next out-of-this-world vacation in Minnesota.

  4. Snowshoes Take You Deep Into a Wilderness Snowfari

    Snowshoes Take You Deep Into a Wilderness Snowfari

    Snowshoes are more than just another way to get around in the snow. They can take you deeper into the wilderness than you’ve probably ever been. There’s simply no better way to spot wildlife than padding quietly into deep, snowy woods where the landscape is sparse, the trees are bare, and the snow cover is unbroken but for the occasional animal tracks.

  5. Canoe, Camp & Color Watch along the St. Croix

    Canoe, Camp & Color Watch along the St. Croix

    One of the most peaceful, immersive ways to experience Minnesota's fall color show is paddling a canoe between the densely wooded banks of the St. Croix River. Much of the 164-mile river forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, and it was one of only eight waterways originally designated as a "National Wild and Scenic River" by the federal government in 1968. It's also widely considered one of the best canoeing rivers in the nation.

  6. There's No Hiking like Fall Hiking

    There's No Hiking like Fall Hiking

    There's not much room for debate: Fall hiking is simply the best. Moderate temperatures, infrequent rain, no mosquitoes and lighter crowds are added bonuses to the breathtaking landscapes bursting with fall color—nature’s buffet enticing hikers to push forth and feast upon the next spectacular view.

  7. Meet Artists at Work on Fall Studio Tours

    Meet Artists at Work on Fall Studio Tours

    Fall is the most popular time of year for art studio tours in Minnesota, when art lovers can roam from studio to studio, with opportunities to talk to the artists and see them at work, as well as purchase pieces to take home.

  8. Say ‘Namaste’ at These Unique Yoga Classes in Minnesota

    Say ‘Namaste’ at These Unique Yoga Classes in Minnesota

    Looking to reap the health benefits of yoga, but want to break free from the confines of a gym or studio? If you’re in Minnesota, you’re in luck.

  9. Fly Fishing’s Not Just for Trout

    Fly Fishing’s Not Just for Trout

    Many Minnesota anglers who have spent their lives with a spinning rod and reel, cranking baits and plopping bobbers, think fly fishing is too difficult and too refined for regular folks. Fly fishing expert and guide Bob Nasby says different.

  10. Go with the Flow on Minnesota’s Rivers

    Go with the Flow on Minnesota’s Rivers

    Seeking summer fun? Then go with the flow. Minnesota has thousands of miles of rivers that are perfect for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. In fact, about 4,500 miles are part of a state water trail system, making them easy to find and navigate.

  11. Lunker Season: Why Fall Is the Best Time of Year to Catch Trophy-Sized Fish

    Lunker Season: Why Fall Is the Best Time of Year to Catch Trophy-Sized Fish

    The end of the fishing season for many Minnesotans coincides with the long Labor Day weekend. They take out the docks, put their boats into storage, and stow away their rods and reels until the following spring. But for those looking to catch some of the biggest fish Minnesota has to offer, fall fishing is second to none.

  12. Geocaching: It's All About the Thrill of the Hunt

    Geocaching: It's All About the Thrill of the Hunt

    The equivalent of a modern-day treasure hunt, geocaching takes people to places they otherwise may never have gone.

  13. Yes, You Can Go Camping in the Winter in Minnesota

    Yes, You Can Go Camping in the Winter in Minnesota

    If you consider camping only a spring-to-fall affair, think again. For outdoor enthusiasts—of which there are many in Minnesota—the urge to camp during the year’s coldest season burns just as hot as it does the rest of the year.

  14. Winter Fishing, No Ice Required

    Winter Fishing, No Ice Required

    Ice fishing has a devoted following in Minnesota, where towns of fish houses pop up each winter across the state’s thousands of lakes. But fishing through an 8-inch hole in the ice isn’t the only way to hook a trophy. For anglers seeking a little more variety in their winter-fishing program, Minnesota offers a number of options for open water fishing, even when the majority of lakes in the state are frozen solid.

  15. How to Catch Walleyes, Minnesota's State Fish

    How to Catch Walleyes, Minnesota's State Fish

    For many anglers, the sight of an olive and gold-colored fish with an unmistakable white tip on its tail—the beloved walleye—emerging from the depths of a lake is enough to send their hearts aflutter. Walleyes don’t grow as large as muskies and northern pike, and it’s often easier to fill the boat with bluegills or crappies, but Minnesota’s state fish is number one in the minds of many who appreciate the challenge of catching them and the deliciousness of their firm, white meat.

  16. Deer Hunt in Every Corner of Minnesota

    Deer Hunt in Every Corner of Minnesota

    Every fall, hundreds of thousands of hunters clad in blaze orange spread out from the agricultural fields of southern Minnesota to the deep forests of northern Minnesota—and everywhere in between—in search of white-tailed deer. For many people, hunting deer during the firearms season is just as much about renewing friendships and a connection with nature as it is about pulling the trigger. But whatever the reason people choose to hunt deer, opportunities to target whitetails abound in Minnesota.

  17. Snowmobiling in Minnesota: More than Just a Mode of Travel

    Snowmobiling in Minnesota: More than Just a Mode of Travel

    If ever a sport epitomized the saying, “Life is about the journey, not the destination,” it would have to be snowmobiling. While some people certainly hit the trail intending only to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, when many others squeeze the throttle their only plans are to feel their sled sail over the snow, breathe in crisp, clean air, and take in the majesty of a winter’s day.

  18. Explore the Heritage of Minnesota’s State Parks

    Explore the Heritage of Minnesota’s State Parks

    The great heritage of Minnesota’s state park system begins at the source of America’s greatest river. Itasca State Park, home to the headwaters of the Mississippi River, was established in 1891, launching what is now the second-oldest state park system in the nation. The system has continued to grow, and Itasca remains one of the most beloved of the state’s 67 state parks.

  19. Minnesota a Hot Spot for Wing Shooting

    Minnesota a Hot Spot for Wing Shooting

    Thanks to Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, the state has a reputation for excellent fishing. But when it comes to hunting, particularly for pheasants, grouse and waterfowl, it’s a hidden gem.

  20. Dog Sledding the Boundary Waters

    Dog Sledding the Boundary Waters

    Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is best known for wilderness canoeing. But winter transforms this magnificent landscape into a forested cathedral of ice, snow and silence, offering a wilderness experience like no other.

  21. Try These 5 Extreme Minnesota Sports

    Try These 5 Extreme Minnesota Sports

    No matter the season, adrenaline junkies have no shortage of options in Minnesota.

  22. Minnesota's Most Magnificent Lakes

    Minnesota's Most Magnificent Lakes

    In the Land of 10,000 Lakes (actual number: 11,842), it's impossible to say which ones are the best. But these 12 represent just a handful of the many great places to start your Minnesota lake adventure.

  23. Your Guide to Pet-Friendly Travel in Minnesota

    Your Guide to Pet-Friendly Travel in Minnesota

    When it comes to pleasing furry, four-legged travelers, few destinations rank as highly as Grand Marais and its surrounding North Shore towns, with their cobblestone beaches, Lake Superior to wade into, hiking paths and waterfalls to explore, cafes with dog-friendly patios, and many welcoming resorts. Stillwater, Red Wing and Excelsior are other pet-friendly places rich in waterfront trails, inviting downtowns and outdoor dining.

  24. Make Fishing Part of Your Minnesota Trip

    Make Fishing Part of Your Minnesota Trip

    There are three major holidays in the state of Minnesota – Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Minnesota Fishing Opener. Or so goes the saying ... and it’s no wonder. Minnesota is known for its fishing.

  25. Take a Hike near Hastings

    Take a Hike near Hastings

    Looking for a hike that offers scenic views, some challenging trails, colorful wildflowers, and...maybe...even a place to fly a model airplane? Then check out Spring Lake Park, a few miles west of Hastings.

  26. Explore the Lakes of Voyageurs National Park

    Explore the Lakes of Voyageurs National Park

    “Voyageur” is a French word meaning “traveler.” And as the best, seasoned voyageurs know....to get to where you’re going, sometimes you have to travel to the end of the road. Or at least, to where the highway ends, and waterways begin. Voyageurs National Park is an expanse of lakes and forests at the end of the road on Minnesota’s northern border.

  27. Land of 10,000 Steps: Log Some Miles on These Minnesota Trails

    Land of 10,000 Steps: Log Some Miles on These Minnesota Trails

    As home to America’s fittest city according to FitBit, Minnesota offers countless trails all over the state to get your steps in and log some extra miles. Better yet, many of Minnesota’s paved trails pass by scenic landscapes, glistening lakes and iconic landmarks that make the miles feel like less of a workout and more of an adventure. So the next time you want to add some memorable steps to your Minnesota vacation, look no further than these scenic trails.

  28. Choose Your Own Outdoor Adventure in Minnesota

    Choose Your Own Outdoor Adventure in Minnesota

    Discover what makes Minnesota a hot spot for biking, fishing, golfing and paddling

  29. Discover River Fishing in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

    Discover River Fishing in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

    Minnesota boasts more than 6,500 natural rivers and streams comprising more than 69,000 miles. The famed Mississippi originates humbly at Itasca State Park and journeys more than 600 miles through Minnesota, including its 1.7-mile-wide Lake Pepin. Other major rivers include the Minnesota, St. Croix, St. Louis, Root, Red, Zumbro and Cannon.

  30. Your Dog Will Love These 6 Hikes & Breweries

    Your Dog Will Love These 6 Hikes & Breweries

    Hike up a thirst on the trail and head to the nearest dog-friendly brewery patio for some food, fun and Minnesota craft beer!

  31. Stranger Things: 5 Weird Minnesota Adventures For You & Your Dog

    Stranger Things: 5 Weird Minnesota Adventures For You & Your Dog

    We love the classic pup-friendly activities like hikes and patios as much as the next human, but Minnesota offers a surprising number of less traditional adventures for dog lovers, too. To keep you and Fido on your toes, we sniffed out five activities that go beyond the typical fare.

  32. Winter Fun for Minnesota Dogs (and Their Humans)

    Winter Fun for Minnesota Dogs (and Their Humans)

    Minnesota travelers and their canine companions enjoy four furbulous seasons, but few people are aware of just how many activities you and your BFF can appreciate together in winter. While some days may be better spent curled up by the fire with a good book,the majority of Minnesota’s winter is full of outdoor fun and adventure.

  33. Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing: A Walk or a Glide in the Park

    Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing: A Walk or a Glide in the Park

    Minnesota's thousands of miles of cross-country and snowshoe trails beckon trekkers.

  34. Take the St. Croix by Canoe or Paddleboat

    Take the St. Croix by Canoe or Paddleboat

    For a great getaway that is just an hour from the Twin Cities, head to Taylors Falls for a scenic trip down the St. Croix River.

  35. Rainbow Routes: 10 Fall Color Drives

    Rainbow Routes: 10 Fall Color Drives

    Here's a sampler of routes for viewing a rainbow of colorful fall foliage in Minnesota.

  36. Meet Minnesota's Fish

    Meet Minnesota's Fish

    Walleye, muskie, panfish, bass, catfish and trout are among the many fish species that can be found in Minnesota waters.

  37. Tall Ships Sail Back into Duluth

    Tall Ships Sail Back into Duluth

    Anyone with a passion for history, boats and all things nautical should make plans now to visit Duluth for the fourth installment of Tall Ships, returning to the Lake Superior port city Aug. 18-21.

  38. 16 Great Places for Bass Fishing in Minnesota

    16 Great Places for Bass Fishing in Minnesota

    Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the best places for bass fishing in the country. Anglers from all over the United States talk about Minnesota’s lakes and rivers as ideal for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass. Here’s a guide to four major bass fishing areas and 16 of their notable lakes, rivers and streams.

  39. Cross-Country Skiing in Minnesota

    Cross-Country Skiing in Minnesota

    Minnesota's cross-country skiing trails offer more miles of skiing than a trek from St. Paul to Los Angeles.

  40. Paddle Your Way through Autumn

    Paddle Your Way through Autumn

    Slip your canoe into the water to soak up the last of the warm weather and admire autumn’s brilliant colors mirrored across the surface of regional rivers.