Try These 5 Extreme Minnesota Sports

By Erica Wacker

Whether you like to get your thrills on the water, under water, or way above the water, adrenaline junkies have no shortage of options in Minnesota. These five extreme sports are sure to get your heart pumping.

1. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking in Duluth_Hansi Johnson
Photo by Hansi Johnson

If you thought Minnesota was flat, think again: The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has designated not one, not two, but three of our state's mountain biking trails as official Ride Centers for being among the "best the sport has to offer." Get your thrills at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, on Duluth trails, and at several mountain biking areas in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

2. Ice Climbing

At Robinson Park in Sandstone, a steep cliff covered in ice draws climbers to scale its face using ice axes and special boots, and hosts an annual climbing festival in December. Vertical Endeavors offers lessons in the Twin Cities and along the North Shore.

3. Rock Climbing

rock climber

Blue Mounds (Luverne, pictured), Interstate (Taylors Falls) and Tettegouche (Silver Bay) state parks are popular spots to give rock climbing a try, and also offer lessons through the Department of Natural Resources. Barn Bluff in Red Wing is another climbing destination.

4. Wakesurfing

Gaining popularity on Minnesota waters, this variation on wakeboarding drops the rope and uses the wake of the boat to stay afloat. Annual tournaments are held on Lake Minnetonka and the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

5. Winter Surfing

Winter surfing Duluth
Photo by Jeanne Walseth

Head to Stony Point, just north of Duluth on Lake Superior, on a brisk winter day, and don’t be surprised to find a group of diehard surfers riding the waves. Winter is the best time to surf the big lake, when storms kick up high winds and big swells.

Find more thrills on the Adventure page.