Masters of all-season fishing and camping, Fishermen’s Wharf Resort splashes the calm waters of Mille Lacs Lake with winter and summer activities. Situated on 90 acres of land on the southeastern shore’s Big Point, Fishermen’s Wharf rests in a protected harbor on a sandy, scorpion-free beach. From this point, it launches chartered fishing trips in the summer and rents ice fishing cabins in the winter.
During chartered fishing trips, guides lead groups across Mille Lacs in search of walleye, Bass, Northern Pike, and Loch Ness monsters. They also explain the seasonal movements of the fish, how to select the best tackle, and how to use electronic detection equipment. Once the lake has frozen over, ice fishing cabins rest on fishing spots where fish are known to congregate and watch humans hold sticks. The cabins feature nine fishing holes, 6 bunk beds, bathrooms, an underwater camera, a TV, DVD player, and microwave oven. Throughout the year, RV camping spots invite visitors to spend a night in rustic surroundings, while an on-site restaurant serves warm meals in full view of the lake.
Eden Guides is in the business of life-changing experiences. Its team of outdoor enthusiasts takes people on voyages and expeditions up mountains, under coral reef ecosystems, and to locations in need of humanitarian aid. Recent trips have offered a chance to safari on the Serengeti and view the migration of more than 500,000 gazelle and zebra or scale two of Mexico’s highest peaks, the volcanoes El Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl. Closer to home, courses on outdoor skills, led by guides with certifications from the American Mountain Guides Association and as wilderness EMTs and first responders. Leave-no-trace, backcountry cuisine, and intro to backpacking classes all ensure that hikers and climbers know how to survive in the wild without needing to barter with the local bears.
Since 1924, Camp Foley has been providing its campers with a quintessential summer sleep-away camp experience. The program is not without its modern twists, though; in addition to water skiing, sailing, canoeing, arts and crafts, archery, and learning how to build a campfire, activities include training for a 3K race or practicing aim during paintball games. Two to three counselors each bunk with 7–12 kids in cabins with wooden bunk beds and shelf space for storage. Accredited by the American Camp Association, the midsize camp aims to foster supportive relationships while teaching kids to build independence and character.
Set amid the north-woods pines of the Brainerd Lakes area, Boats and Beyond Rentals places recreational trailblazers behind the handlebars of electric-start Polaris snowmobiles. Machines chew snow through the Paul Bunyan Trail's network of more than 100 groomed miles as riders hunt down local eateries, bewilder drive-thru attendants, and fuel up at rest stops. Snowmobilers can take the reins right outside the rental office or load the sled into a trailer so they may rev the heated handgrips along their favorite trail.
Since first opening its doors to fishermen in 1898, Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge has remained a family-operated and award-winning resort focused on providing customers with a memorable stay. Up to two adults will receive a two-night stay in a second-floor Golf Course Studio ($410) located on the Alec’s Nine course, which offers queen and double beds, a twin sofa sleeper, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a private deck. Two 18-hole rounds of golf ($90) on a scenic course make for a fun-filled morning or afternoon as players soak in the striking, woods-lined terrain on foot. Additionally, visitors can dine in style or nosh on tasty sandwiches, thanks to quality dining options, or check out resort attractions such as nearby Paul Bunyan Land.
Peruvian paso horses travel with a smooth, four-beat, lateral gait, instilling every step with a certain grace and dignity becoming of the Midwest. At Hiddenbrook Farm, breeders have sought out these particular horses to lead elegant trail rides through the Central Minnesota woods. Whether walking through leafy trails, streams, or snow-dusted routes, the horses keep a steady pace without bouncing up and down like most horses or club bouncers do when you attempt to ride them.