Bicycling. I am having a difficult time getting used to all of the bicyclists along the roads we travel. Why are they there? Can you move over? Can’t you find a safer place to journey? I believe this stems from being used to so many trails throughout Minnesota. Hundreds of miles of scenic trails with minimal vehicle intersections are around the state. Even in the heart of Minneapolis, bicyclists travel around the lakes enjoying the outdoors. These trails are connected by using old railroad beds, often paving them for a smooth, family-friendly ride. I grew up camping at the many state parks that joined up with the various bike trail systems.
Fishing. Minnesota, “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Well, actually there are closer to 15,000, but who’s counting? The point is a lot exist. This created a culture of “the cabin”. Many families have a place, or their friends do, to escape on the weekends to enjoy the beauty of the lake and land surrounding them. Walleyes, muskies, and bass attract the sport fishermen, but in my inexperience, I have landed mostly northern pike and panfish (They were good sized ones though). Several of the larger lakes have fishing guide services that take people out to find some good fishing. But don’t underestimate the “forgotten” smaller lakes. Just talk to the locals at the fishing shops to see what you can learn from them. The only lake I’d steer away from is Lake Mille Lacs as their walleye population is down and too many regulations exist unless you only want to catch and release.
Winter Activities: Snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, sledding, skijoring (skiing behind dogs), St. Paul Winter Carnival’s ice and snow sculptures (middle of January), or for me, baking cookies inside where it’s still warm.
Summer Activities: boating, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, ATVing, hiking, biking, camping, Minnesota State Fair (end of August). Lake Minnetonka, Jonathan Padelford Riverboat cruises, Stillwater and Taylors Falls for antique shopping