Minnesota wild adventures in The Land of 10,000 Lakes certainly have much more in store than water for you. This glorious state offers an enticing landscape and plenty of adventures for all tastes. If you don’t know exactly what to choose, read about our top amazing wild adventures below.
Growing up in a rural setting in Minnesota, I was raised with the outdoors and a sense of adventure. - Ann Bancroft
Explore North Shore State Parks: Autumn scenery in these Lake Superior parks is stunning with a thick carpet of fallen leaves covering the almost-freezing ground, while other leaves still hang on in a multitude of colors. Enjoy side trips to several vantage points that are beautiful beyond words and look even better during the fall.
For instance, the half a mile hike to Artist Points in Grand Marais will take you through a lush forest and have you stepping on actual lava rock to reach the rocky shore guarded by the imposing lighthouse.
Most of the state parks here offer unique hiking trails, cross-country skiing trips you can do beginning at the autumn’s end, volcanic landforms and whirling waterfalls. There’s also the option of horseback rides and zip lining at the Gunflint Lodge or that of watching the hawk fall migration in Hawk Ridge Reserve.
Before heading up the North Shore, make a visit to Canal Park right in Duluth. Watch ships arrive in this port city and enjoy the Great Lakes Aquarium that will bring you face to face with aquatic wildlife.
Enjoy the Perfect Canoe Trip: There’s no place like the Boundary Waters to make sure you live the canoe experience to the max. Located in the northeastern part of Minnesota, this area is colder in autumn and the waters are also more difficult to paddle. However, fall offers the advantage of reduced prices and fewer tourists, so you can enjoy the tranquility of the place.
Breathe in the magnificent wilderness and immense lakes, as well as the cold, quiet and starry nights by the campfire light. You can paddle between lakes by yourself or with a guide that can show you all the most interesting things in the area, including wild animals like fearsome black bears, daring eagles, and energetic moose.
Black bear viewing:The incredible Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Ely bears the name of its founder who decided to present black bears to the world in a new light. Instead of simply shooting the starving bears who were getting too close to his abode, Vince offered another solution to this problem so that humans and bears can live together in peace.
The woods of Orr provide a generous shelter to these specimens, and what used to be Vince’s house is now still a place where they come from time to time. However, these bears are free to come and go as they please, and you can see them in their natural environment, surrounded by the already famous tall Minnesotan pine trees.Read what other travelers have to say about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Visit Itasca State Park: One of the best parks in Minnesota is our oldest state park, Itasca State Park, with its ancient forests that provide a cozy home, and a gentle beginning, for the furious Mississippi River. Its headwaters offer an endless source of adventure to various tourists, and there are plenty of other trails you can hike here.
You’ll definitely enjoy the old pine trees that guard the meandering, steep paths you’ll hike. The pale glow of the autumn sun proves to be a good companion, especially when you end up at Lake Itasca. You’ll see it sparkling hypnotically in the sunlight and it is the source waters for the Mighty Mississippi.Visitors to the state offer their opinions about the very best attractions, activities and amenities. Read what other travelers have to say about Minnesota Vacations.
Fun at the Brainerd Lakes: There is unending water fun to choose from in Minnesota and, when you are thinking of lakes, the Brainerd Lakes area is a natural. Brainerd is amazing in the fall, with its tall pine trees offering their the aroma and invigorating cold breezes that give a hint of the winter to come. The best thing is that this area will see a smaller influx of tourists now, so you can enjoy it more. Most Brainerd resorts are open year round.
There are plenty of souvenirs shops here and quaint restaurants with delicious food to replenish you after you’ve built up some adrenaline on one of the hiking trails nearby. There are plenty of biking trails here too that meander through the evergreen forests.
Enjoy a sunset cruise on the lake, marvel at an ingenious turtle race in Nisswa or visit Paul Bunyan Land, an amusement park that features a 26-foot statue of the legendary character. There are also plenty of opportunities to kayak, go on a fishing trip or enjoy the golf course for a "milder" Minnesota wild adventure.
Ride Lanesboro: This Root River Valley town is amazingly bucolic, though it’s also pretty artsy and earthy. You can enjoy a ton of outdoor adventures here, as well as some urban attractions. Exploring the hundred miles or so of trail system will prove a pretty wild experience because there are lots of scenic beauties to enjoy, though some of the rides themselves may be challenging.
Niagara Cave in nearby Harmony is another adrenaline-provoking adventure, with the trail there being incredibly gorgeous, especially in the fall. The wan light makes the landscape stand out more, but you won’t have that in mind while you explore the huge limestone cavern. You’ll be in complete awe at this magnificent cave that harbors a 60-foot tumbling waterfall.
Minnesota Wild Adventures - Spy the eagles: Wabasha is the favorite location for eagles who come here to rest for the winter, and you can see them arriving during autumn in Minnesota. The National Eagle Center provides plenty of useful information, and viewing opportunities, that will help you understand them better and increase your chances to capture them on camera.
Birdwatching in Wabasha is a fun activity that will bring you immense satisfaction in a glorious landscape combined with getting a glimpse of the majestic eagles’ lives. If you want to improve your experience, come back during winter to Lake Pepin so you can see what seem like thousands of eagles delighting themselves with the fish they catch in the Mississippi River.
What Minnesota wild adventures will you try?
From zip lining to kayaking and canoeing, from horseback rides to eagle watching and bird viewing, Minnesota has it all. With so many wonderful adventures to pick from, we’re curious what you’ll want to do, so leave us a comment below.
~ by Guest Author Dennis OwensAuthor Bio: Growing up in the great everglades, Dennis considers the wilderness his playground. This helped him nurture his passion on survival and self-reliance. It’s his personal mission to help other people understands and survive the wild. He also writes gear reviews for Wilderness Mastery.com
If you enjoyed Minnesota Wild Adventures, you may also like:
Voyageurs National Park - Wilderness Adventures