Featured Photo by Explore Minnesota
The Best Outdoor Experiences Near The Brainerd Lakes Area!
Minnesota is full of amazing outdoor experiences from the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior to charming river towns on the Mississippi River. One area in Minnesota that has the best of both worlds is the Brainerd Lakes area, near Brainerd, Minnesota. Located right on the Mississippi River in central Minnesota, Brainerd, Mille Lacs, and the surrounding areas are also home to the Brainerd Lakes, making it a hub for wildlife, outdoor recreation, and water sports.
The Brainerd Lakes area has some of the state’s biggest lakes, world-class golf destinations, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. It is an ideal destination all year long for summer getaways and winter vacations. Here are a few of the best outdoor experiences the region has to offer.
Photo by Gull Lake Cruises
In the summer months swimming and relaxing may be more your forte, if so you don’t need to look any further than North Long Lake, Pelican Lake, or Lake Mille Lacs. These lakes feature popular public beaches, especially at Father Hennepin State Park in Mille Lacs. Visitors can also experience the lakes on a cruise, like those offered by Gull Lake Cruises on Gull Lake and the Breezy Belle on Pelican Lake. Gull Lake also houses some of the state’s largest resorts along its shore and connects to seven other lakes, making it the perfect spot to stay during your central Minnesota vacation.
Photo by Lake Mille Lacs
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riders can also enjoy the Brainerd Lakes area on various trails in Mille Lacs. One option for riding is the Soo Line North Trail, which serves as the ultimate ATV trail connector in Minnesota. You can enjoy 48-miles of flat and easy riding on your way to other trails in the area including the Rabey Line Trail, Blind Lake Connector and Loop, Hill City Trail, and Lawler Loops. For more difficult riding, you’ll want to head to the Red Top Trail. Here you’ll find 25 miles of more challenging terrain for riders of all skill levels.
Photo by Cragun’s Resort
3. Golf Courses
Some popular acclaimed courses you might want to check out are Madden’s On Gull Lake, Cragun’s Legacy Courses, Grand View, Breezy Point, and Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge. These courses are an experience in and of themselves with the beautiful views of the lakes and guarantee an enjoyable round of golf by yourself or with a group. If you are traveling with kids, the Brainerd Lakes area also offers some fun miniature golf experiences such as Pirates Cove and Northland Kart Kountry.
Photo by Northland Arboretum
To have the best time bird watching, you can book a tour with MN Backyard Birds and local guide and bird expert Judd Brink will help you have the best bird viewing experience. MN Backyard Birds offers a variety of tours depending on which species you’d like to see. However, if you would rather go out on your own or with your own group instead, some great places to go birding are Crow Wing State Park and the Northland Arboretum.
Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.