Summers in Minnesota are short, so there is no time to waste; get and out get going, whether it’s to the lake to fish and swim the yard to garden or the trails to bike.
With only 13 weeks of summer and more than 10,000 lakes, miles of trails and acres of woods to explore, it’s time to get out and get going.
If you’re lucky enough to have a family cabin or you’ve chosen your friends wisely head out for days of fishing, swimming, cookouts and camaraderie. As most Minnesotans know, the state is a paradise of lakes and woods. If you don’t have access to a cabin, many businesses feature rentals or choose from a wide listing of lodges, ranging from rustic to luxury.
While it’s tempting to wile away the summer days by the lake, summer is also a great time for spruce up and fix up. Before you head out, load up your utility trailer with all the tools you’ll need to make fair weather repairs and upgrades to your cabin or dock.
If you’re not lucky enough to score an invitation to a cabin this summer, head to one of Minnesota’s 66 state parks for some camping. Whether it’s in a motorized RV or a basic tent, you’ll be enjoying the same starry nights and rustling woods that make Minnesota one of the best camping destinations in the world.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota is a world-renown camping destination. Established in 1978, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness includes 1,500 miles of canoe routes, 2,200 campsites and more than 1,000 lakes and streams to explore. Thousands of visitors are drawn to the wilderness area every year to soak in a landscape that is little changed since the glaciers melted.
Why settle for life on one lake when there’s so many to explore? If fishing is your passion, head to Red Lake, one of the state’s biggest and a great place to try and reel in a trophy-sized northern pike or catch some crappie. Leech Lake in Cass County is a popular spot to visit with restaurants, boutiques, golf courses, restaurants, and swimming beaches in the town of Walker and lunkers awaiting in the lake. For a more rustic experience, consider one of Minnesota’s favorite destinations, Snelling Lake, located in Fort Snelling State Park. Gas motors aren’t allowed on the lake, so there’s ample opportunity to shore fish, or fish from your canoe or row boat for northern pike, bluegill, bass, and pumpkinseed fish. Rated one of Minnesota’s top fishing lakes, is a destination with walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and crappie galore. Local fishermen offer guided tours of the lake’s bays, reefs, and islands and resort lodging makes it a great Minnesota escape.
Escape Minnesota’s hot summer days with a cool lake swim. Minnesota’s State Parks boast many great swimming beaches, some with lifeguards and others with campgrounds and cabins nearby. With thousands of lakes to choose from, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers a few suggestions. McCarthy Beach State Park is a nationally recognized sandy beach right on the shores of Sturgeon Lake. Camping and pier fishing is also available nearby. Zippel Bay State Park on the shores of Lake of the Woods, one of the world’s largest lakes, boasts miles of white sand beach and campgrounds. Take a dip at Father Hennepin State Park, which bills itself as the best designated beach on Mille Lacs Lake. Also, hike along the Pope’s Point Trail and fish for pike, small mouth bass, muskie and walleye from one of the fishing piers.
Load up your boat trailer and head to one of Minnesota’s lakes. Whether you’re taking a fleet of kayaks and canoes, or your motorized boat to pull kids through the wake, there’s ample public access for your boat and plenty of opportunity for an exciting day this summer. Check with the department of Natural Resources for a list of public access launches or download the DNR app for real-time boating updates.
Flower and Vegetable Gardening
With an average of only 145 days between the first and last frosts, there’s no time to wait when it comes to Minnesota gardening. As summer rolls around, enjoy digging, planting, tending and harvesting your garden. With its frigid winters and fickle summers, it’s no walk in the park to garden in Minnesota, but when the asters are in bloom and you’re enjoying homegrown fresh broccoli the effort will be worth it.
Wherever you are, city or country, you’re sure to find a bike trail in Minnesota. Minnesota boasts more than 4,000 miles of paved bike trails, encompassing a variety of terrain, including lake loops, leisurely city rides, trails along country roads, shady paved paths, journeys near rivers and through the woods, and “invigorating white-knuckle mountain biking,” according to Pedal Minnesota. Load up the family bikes in a cargo trailer or tie them down on your utility trailer and head out for one of the state’s great trails.
Head to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis to take in a Twins game. In the historic warehouse district, Target Field is an open-air ball park, which makes for some nippy nights early in the season, but glorious nights in the summer. Shortly after its opening in 2010 ESPN magazine ranked Target Field as the best baseball experience in the league. For a more affordable option head to St. Paul and enjoy a night with the St. Paul Saints, offering major league fun at minor league prices. The Saints are a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
Summer is festival time in Minnesota, from St. Paul’s Grand Old Days, to the Minneapolis Aquatennial in mid-July, there are rides to ride, booths to explore and carnival food to consume. Small towns aren’t left out of the fun, either. Consider a stop at Ma and Pa Kettle Days in Kettle River, and Walleye Days in Baudette. Wind up the summer fun at the Minnesota State Fair, running for 12 days beginning Aug. 23. The state fair draws 2 million visitors to the fairgrounds, located midway between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Wherever your summer adventures in Minnesota take you, head start at M&G Trailer in Ramsey, Minn., for a complete service on your utility or cargo trailer and arrive with your summer gear safe and secure.