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Venture out to Beltrami County and explore Buena Vista State Forest. With 20 miles for cross-country skiing and 21 miles of snowmobiling as well as all the boating and fishing your heart desires along Lake Beltrami, Big Bass Lake, Gull Lake, Sandy Lake, and Three Island Lake, you’re guaranteed to have a blast at any time of year. There is also hunting, picnicking, and backcountry camping for all the outdoorsy folks out there. Get a panoramic view of the Twin Ports at Enger Tower in Duluth.
Take a hike along the 18 miles of trails or take in the eight miles of mountain bike trails at Gooseberry Falls State Park on the north shore of Lake Superior. Observe white-tailed deer, black bears, and timber wolves in their natural habitats.
Bird watchers will be in for a real treat with views of ravens, herrings, and many more. Also on the north shore is Tettegouche State Park. With six inland lakes, four waterfalls, a beach on Lake Superior, as well as 22 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of ski trails, and rock climbing, you’re sure to have a blast whether on land or lake.
Carve out some time at the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area; a 72-mile, 54,000-acre corridor that serves as the only national park exclusively devoted to the Mississippi River. Go bird watching or mountain biking at the Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve in Savage. Treat yourself to a swim or boat ride at Crystal Lake, which, as its name suggests, has some of the most beautiful water in the country.
Get in on one of America’s best-kept secrets by visiting Lake Minnetonka. With world-class restaurants, regional parks, and all the aquatic activities you love, you won’t be able to leave without great memories even if you try. Don’t forget to go to Paisley Park, the former home of the late pop music icon Prince.
If you want to see the largest freshwater lake in the world, take your friends or family to Lake Superior. Mille Lacs Lake may be shallow but there’s great fishing so be sure to come bearing tackle. Otter Tail Lake makes a great destination for fishing as well, with boating and sailing to boot.
Preserving a center of fur trade activity on the north shore of Lake Superior is the Grand Portage National Monument. Voyageurs National Park is a great place to learn about the history of French-Canadian fur traders as well. You boaters and fishermen need to check out Voyageurs also.
A fantastic place to learn about Native American history and culture can be found at Pipestone National Monument in southwestern Minnesota. The snowmobiling at Como Park Ski Center, Thief River Falls, Cannon Falls, and Goodhue County Trails is about one of the only things that can get you excited for the winter. Minnesota might have the glitz and glamour of some other American destinations but once you see what it has to offer, you’ll be counting the days until you can go back.