December 8, 2021

Give Me The Mike

Exploring Minnesota and Beyond

6 outdoor activities in Minnesota you cannot miss

A list of the best bike trails, hiking trails, campsites, along with things to do on the water!

No matter what kind of activities you prefer, Minnesota won’t fail you. With pristine national parks, thousands of lakes, endless miles of bike trails, and much more, the North Star State is perfect for outdoor adventures.

So if you’re planning to visit Minnesota and have some fun at some of the best destinations in the state, pack up your gear, bring your enthusiasm, and enjoy your stay. We’ll provide you with some amazing ideas on how to spend your time outdoors here.

Cycle Your Way Through Minnesota

Minnesota has thousands of miles of bike trails, and it’s one of the best states for biking enthusiasts. The best thing about it is that it offers a variety of options for different levels of fitness and enthusiasm, and you can cycle all year round in urban, rural, or wild settings.

Some of the most popular trails include the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail, Root River, Paul Bunyan, Mesabi Trail, and many more. If you’d like to do some mountain biking, you can try Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, which is a designated mountain biking trail.

Renting a bike and additional equipment won’t be a problem here.

Enjoy a Camping Adventure

There’s no shortage of campgrounds in Minnesota, where you can enjoy the beauty of the state’s lush and diverse nature. You can choose between individual or group sites, as well as horse-friendly or OHV-accessible ones.

You may opt for a designated campsite with all the amenities you may need, but you can also go wild camping in one of the state’s forests or parks. If you choose the latter, just make sure to create a camping checklist so that you have everything you need in the wilderness.

Some of the best places to camp include the Split Rock State Park, Portsmouth Campground in Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, Fall Lake Campground in the Superior National Forest, and many more.

Explore the Waters

Not only does Minnesota have the mighty Mississippi River, but it is home to over 11,000 lakes, including the magnificent Lake Superior. If you like water-based activities, Minnesota is a paradise for you!

Whatever comes to mind that you can do on the water, Minnesota has it. For a laid-back weekend activity, you can go fishing in one of the many fishable rivers, lakes, and streams. If you’re up for some canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding, Minnesota boasts the nation’s oldest water trail system. If you want an adrenaline-pumping activity, you can go whitewater rafting.

Again, you don’t have to worry about the equipment as there are many local outfitters that will be happy to rent it to you.

Hit a Scenic Hiking Trail

If you feel like getting your boots dirty, you can try one of Minnesota’s many beautiful hiking trails. There’s so much to explore on foot here, regardless of whether you go hiking in one of the state parks or hit an urban trail in Minneapolis.

You can admire graceful waterfalls, enjoy dramatic beaches, visit historic monuments, enjoy peaceful forests, explore pristine lakes, and much more.

No matter whether you’re going alone, with friends and family, or even with your pets, you’re sure to find a perfect hiking trail that you’ll enjoy greatly.

You may opt for the Silver Creek Trail with amazing views of bedrock landscape. You can explore the northern shoreline of Lake Superior on the Little Two Harbors Trail. The possibilities are endless.

Visit the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

There’s nothing your kids will enjoy more than a visit to the zoo. This amazing park, conservatory, and zoo is located in St. Paul and it’s completely free! It’s a great idea for spending a day outdoors, while also learning about the living world around us and how to conserve it.

You can see various animals, enjoy the beautiful gardens, and even see a variety of art installations. Kids might enjoy feeding the giraffes or riding a carousel. All in all, you won’t have any trouble filling your day with various fun activities here.

See Why Minnesotans Love Their Golf

Minnesota has hosted all 13 USGA championships and many other tournaments. That’s not surprising since it has almost 500 golf courses, the majority of which are open to the public. So if you want to wind down and play some golf, you won’t have a problem finding a suitable course near you.

You may go for a resort course with lodgings on the premises, but no matter which course you choose, there’s bound to be a hotel nearby or at least a campground.

What’s more, the golfing season in Minnesota is quite long, often lasting from April to November.

So if you’re visiting Minnesota and looking for a fun outdoor activity, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.


I’m Rebecca, a translator, avid traveler, and bookworm. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.