Some ideas for activities nearby: golfing at Brainerd Lakes area golf resorts, snowmobiling, and horseback riding.
Brainerd Lakes Area, Minnesota: Outdoor Haven with More Than 500 Lakes and Wooded Hiking Trails
More than 500 lakes and rivers make up the Brainerd Lakes area in northeastern Minnesota. The forested region is just a two-hour drive from the Twin Cities, making it a popular retreat for city dwellers looking to take advantage of its world-class golf courses and hiking trails. The most popular hike is the Paul Bunyan Trail, which stretches 110 miles. The paved trail is massive—a fitting tribute to the legendary lumberjack, whom the city of Brainerd claims as a native son. You can see the world’s largest animated statue of him just a few miles east of town.
The state’s second-largest lake, Mille Lacs Lake, and several interconnected lakes are located here; naturally, the Brainerd Lakes area is popular for watersports, such as boating, diving, jet skiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. There are a number of expert fishing guides in the area who can show you the best ways to reel in the region’s bass and muskie. The walleye fishing here is particularly good. Brainerd’s also known for its annual ice-fishing tournament, held every January.