F or some of us, life is at its best when we’re out exploring. Paddling, trekking, climbing and splashing through the natural wonders of the world around us. Whether you seek the thrill of pushing yourself to the limit, or the simple pleasures of a quiet time in the beauty of the north woods, there’s omeplace waiting here for you.
Rock climbing at Blue Mounds
State Park, Luverne
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Walking paths wind through scenic
state parks, state and national forests.
Whether it’s a short nature walk or an
overnight backpacking trip, taking a hike is
the perfect way to experience Minnesota’s
forests and prairies, pristine lakes and
gurgling streams. One of the country’s
premier trails is the 235-mile Superior Hiking
Trail, following a ridgeline through the forests above Lake
Superior, passing wilderness creeks and waterfalls. Hikers can
take short treks, camp along the trail, or hike lodge-to-lodge.
Miles of canoe rivers, including the St. Croix and Mississippi,
take paddlers through the woods. It’s a great way to go bird
watching or fishing. The rapids of the St. Louis River put the
thrills into a whitewater rafting trip. In the Boundary Waters
Canoe Area Wilderness, you can canoe forest-rimmed lakes far
from the sights and sounds of civilization. From solitary campsites,
you can watch for falling stars and hear the call of loons.
A “kayak trail” has been designated along the north shore of
Lake Superior, and area outfitters provide lessons and guided
trips to explore the rugged beauty of this shoreline by kayak.
Voyageurs National Park is also popular for kayaking. Or explore
the waters of Voyageurs National Park by houseboat.
Rock climbers are drawn to the cliffs along the north shore
of Lake Superior, on the St. Croix River at Interstate State
Park, and along the rocky ridge at Blue Mounds State Park.
There are study trips on wolf ecology at the International
Wolf Center and other wildlife tours. Hot air balloon or
helicopter rides provide an eagle’s eye view of the countryside.
When the north woods rest under a blanket of snow, try
the adventure of a dogsledding. Learn to mush a team of
dogs or simply go along for an exciting ride.
Dog sledding near Ely