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Travel ideas by author:
Looking for a fun location for the entire family? It can be a tricky business. On the top of the list for my son: find rocks. Mom’s mission: get outside and get away from the Wii.
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.
“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.
Who would have thought back in 1910 that recreation would someday replace mining operations in the town of Crosby, about 15 miles northeast of Brainerd? Certainly not the toiling miners of that time. But thanks to Mother Nature working her magic over time, water has filled the mini-canyons carved out by mining operations and turned them into clear, deep lakes.
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.
What’s truly cool about Walker is that it hasn’t changed much since I was there as a child in the 1970s. The downtown still has its small town/Mayberry feel, with many of the same stores I remember. Even the original museum is still there, complete with stuffed owls and beaver (although it now shares space with the Walker Spirits store, which makes for great wine shopping amidst the wildlife). But what has changed, and for the better, are the trail systems.
A little bit of everything can be a good thing. If ever there were a town that encompasses that phrase, it’s Spring Valley, Minnesota. Perched along the Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway, as well as in Minnesota’s farm heartland, it has the best of both worlds: a quaint hometown feel, peaceful farm scenes, and picturesque river bluffs. In short, a little bit of everything.
There seems to be a growing disconnect between our kids and nature, and it’s not just in cities and suburbs. According to Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle,” it’s a phenomenon—and not a good one. It was Louv who coined the term “nature deficit disorder.” His hypothesis is basically that humans, especially children, are spending less time outdoors. Luckily, Minnesota has plenty of resources to combat this trend.
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.
Located on the banks of Minnesota’s third largest lake, Leech Lake, Walker has long been a destination. More recently, the area has beefed up its trail system, attracting even more visitors.
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