Explore Minnesota’s Finest Cuisines, Wines, Beers and Spirits!

The Explore Minnesota drinking and eating guide lists and links to more than 1,500 restaurants throughout the state, as well as Minnesota breweries and wineries. Renowned chefs serve up an eclectic array of fare, ranging from international cuisine to dishes straight from the local farm. The state is seeing huge growth in craft beer and spirits, and Minnesota wines continue to win awards at international competitions. Keep checking back we’re adding new venues all the time. http://www.exploreminnesota.com/drink-eat

Did someone say Burgers?

Matt’s Bar & Grill, now a Minneapolis landmark, began in 1954 as a neighborhood burger eatery. Shortly after we opened, founder Matt Bristol explains how the “Jucy Lucy” was created when a local customer asked for two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle. Upon biting into this new, molten hot burger, he exclaimed “that’s one juicy Lucy”, and a legend was born. Customer demand grew so quickly, we forgot to add the “i” and the “Jucy Lucy” has now become a local culinary hero. Remember, if it’s spelled correctly, you just might be eating a shameless ripoff!

Matt’s has received numerous awards, and has appeared in publications from Hamburgers Across America to the The New York Times. Matt’s has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Man Vs. Food and Food Wars, where we won the best tasting “Jucy Lucy” in town. Each “Jucy Lucy” is carefully handmade with the freshest, high-quality beef and filled with the molten hot cheese you can only find at Matt’s. Once you’ve had our “Jucy Lucy”, you’ll understand why our motto is “Fear the Cheese”!

Wineries & Winery Dining

Richwood Winery is the hidden star of the North Star State. Located on 9 acres of pristine land overlooking Lake Buffalo and just 10 miles North of Detroit Lakes, it is a destination for anyone and everyone. Whether you are an oenophiliac (wine-lover), vacationer, family looking to enjoy the scenery or just someone who could use a day to relax and unwind – welcome, you’re home.

Richwood began in 2007 as a location like no other. Convinced that the grape varietals created by the University of Minnesota could not only survive the conditions of northern MN but thrive to create a great wine, co-owner and founder Penny Aguirre purchased the location to put her notion to the test. Her vision for Richwood extended far beyond just the grapes. As she fondly remembers “I wanted to make a community gathering place where people in the area can meet each other and become friends.” Today the winery and grounds of Richwood are that vision personified: a place where family, wine and science play happily all day every day.

Starting in the spring of 2008 with LaCrescent, Frontenac Gris and Marquette grapes, the winery has expanded, bringing those cold weather loving, hearty vines and their delicious products together with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir grapes from California to bring the best of both worlds together in a glass. Your glass.

All grapes are crushed on-site and the wine made, blended and bottled in the wine “laboratory,” a converted garage combining the quality of any NAPA Valley winery with all the charm of northern Minnesota. Together with the log cabin tasting room overlooking the vineyards, the former-airplane-hangar storage facility and the rest of the gorgeous nine acre, southern exposure property and you have an experience not to be missed.

So if you are looking for the right space for your next event, excited about one of our annual shindigs or simply curious how beautiful and rewarding a day with us can possibly be, come join the community!  We love the Lake Buffalo life and can’t wait to greet you with a warm welcome to the Richwood Winery family.


Klockow Brewery, This brewery and taproom is owned and operated by husband and wife team, Andy and Tasha Klockow. Andy is from rural Northern Wisconsin. Tasha is from the Grand Rapids area. Andy is also the resident brewer. He has been working at HammerHeart Brewing Company in Lino Lakes over the past 3 years and is excited to cultivate his own recipes for the people of the Grand Rapids area. We are basically open books so please feel free to reach out to us!


GEOCACHING: Fun for Everyone!
The equivalent of a modern-day treasure hunt, geocaching takes people to places they otherwise may never have gone. Joshua Johnson, for example, has followed his passion for geocaching–a location-based game in which participants navigate to hidden caches–by cliffs near Duluth and to parks all across Minnesota. He’s discovered waterfalls he never knew existed, happened upon interesting sculptures, and discovered some of the most beautiful scenery he’s ever laid eyes on.

“One of the biggest things that I love about geocaching is all the places that it brings you,” said Johnson, 40, who maintains a popular YouTube channel devoted to the hobby. “There are so many awesome and hidden treasures in our state. I get exposed to all these new and different places that I would never necessarily know about because somebody hid a geocache there.”

The basic concept behind geocaching is relatively simple: Participants use handheld global positioning system (GPS) devices or their smartphones to navigate to the latitude and longitude coordinates where other participants have hidden caches. Caches are listed on at geocaching.com/play, a popular geocaching website. Every cache includes one rating for how difficult it is to find, and another that describes the difficulty of the terrain on which the cache is hidden. The caches themselves are often waterproof containers that blend in with the surrounding landscape.

The easiest caches to locate might be in a small park and easy to see because they’re hanging from a tree. In other cases, the general location of caches is easy to find, but they might be disguised as rocks or sticks. And then there are the really tough ones: “I’ve found one that required me to rappel off the side of a cliff near Duluth,” said Johnson, who advises beginners to start with caches that have low difficulty ratings. “I had to have special equipment and go along with someone who knew what they were doing.”

Once geocachers locate a cache, they can take one of the trinkets that’s been left inside. The rule is they must leave something of equal or greater value for the next person. Generally speaking, however, it’s not about the object itself. “It’s all about the thrill of the hunt,” Johnson said. And some caches simply provide clues that players use to find another cache in the area.

While some caches are hidden on private land, the majority are on public land throughout the state. Every state park, for example, has at least one cache hidden within its boundaries. There also are 35 state parks where players can check out GPS units and receive more geocaching instruction. The DNR also offers a number of geocaching programs and events at state parks. Nearer the Twin Cities, the Three Rivers Park District also offers a robust geocaching program, as well as specific events related to the activity. There are caches hidden in Minnesota’s Chippewa and Superior national forests, and in city and county parks throughout the state.

Geocaching can be done all year long and be easily combined with other activities. In the fall, it takes you into the woods among the leaves while they change color. In the winter, it can be combined with skiing or snowshoeing, or spend part of your time fishing or downhill skiing. In the spring and summer, it fits in well with fishing, hunting, or any family resort or camping vacation. whitebirchresort.net

Learning to Fatbike for fitness and fun as winter soon returns!

As the winter winds begin to shift and blow into our office, here in Minnesota, thoughts turn toward the snow covered trails. We are lucky here to enjoy a massive amount of trails that are designed for winter riding. But if you are like me and new to the whole Fatbiking thing, how do you get into it and what should you expect? whitebirchresort.net

The Fatbike
Fatbikes are more like normal mountain bikes than you may think. As an example, the only parts unique to most fat tired bikes are the crank, tires and wheels. Other than those things, all the other parts are interchangeable with you normal mountain bike. That being said, the parts that make a fat tired bike different are responsible for their namesake. The large wheels and tires give these fatbikes their flotation on soft surfaces like snow and sand. There are now several brands available at most price points so getting into the sport has never been easier. Plus many bike shops offer rental programs.

The Fatbike Ride
The best part about a fatbike is that it extends your season with an all new cycling experience. For the most part, when snow was falling, people were kept from riding. Now, with so many fat tired bike options, a thick layer of the white stuff simply means more riding for all! With 4”-5” wide tires and pressures as low as 4psi, a fatbike can easily navigate deep snow. The only issue you will run into is ice. An icy surface doesn’t really care how wide the tire is, it’s still slippery. Once a trail gets slick it’s best to either change your tires to studded versions, or install studs in your existing tires. With studs below you, the game is back on.

The Gear
I find the hardest part of fatbiking is dressing properly. I am no stranger to winter riding, but most of that has been commuting. Once I got off road, I found that I was chronically overdressed. Off road riding is slower than commuting, so there is less wind chill to contend with. Additionally, I find it is a higher effort (more calories spent) to fatbike than to commute. When winter riding make sure your feet and hands are warm with good gloves and winter shoes. I also find you should wear warm cycling clothes that will wick the moisture away and resist the urge to wear too much clothing.

Having Fun
The most fun part of riding a fatbike is experiencing an existing trail you may have used before, in a new way. With a fresh coat of snow on the ground, features that may normally be difficult get smoothed out and sections that are typically easy, can become difficult. That change in perspective gives all new life to trails that may have become old and commonplace to you. So get out there and try fatbiking this winter.

Minnesota:Peak Fall Colors

The glow of autumn is visible in all parts of the state, with many areas now at peak fall color!whitebirchresort.net

Peak fall color typically arrives in the northern one-third of the state in mid-September to early October. The central third of the state is most colorful between late September and early October. Southern Minnesota trees reach the height of their fall color late September to mid-October. One exception is the North Shore of Lake Superior, where peak fall color arrives about a week later than inland areas due to the warming effect of the lake. Please note that fall color can change rapidly due to wind, rain and frost.

The Explore Minnesota Fall Color Update will be sent each Thursday afternoon during the fall color season, with additional updates as conditions warrant. Information in this report is provided courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Three Rivers Park District.

The Hike MN Sweepstakes is underway now through Oct. 22, with an array of prizes awarded including Minnesota getaways, Gopher Sports tickets and gift cards for Mall of America and Minnesota State Parks. For information on hiking in Minnesota, visit Hike MN.

Don’t miss the spectacular fall color show! Plan ahead with a customized travel planner from our Explore Minnesota Travel Counselors at 888-VISITMN (888-847-4866), or request your planner at Contact a Travel Counselor. Before you go, be sure to check out these 10 spectacular fall color routes in Minnesota, and plan a stop at an apple orchard or pumpkin patch along the way!

Northeast Minnesota

While many state parks in the far northeast region of the state are now past peak, the parks along Lake Superior are at their peak. Near peak fall color can be found at some parks just south and west of Lake Superior. This weekend, consider a trip to Cascade River, Temperance River, Gooseberry Falls, Jay Cooke and Father Hennepin state parks. A drive along the North Shore All-American Scenic Drive is another great option.

Scenic State Park – Grand Rapids/Bigfork
While a few of the deciduous trees have not fully turned color, most will soon be bare.

Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park – Soudan
The park foliage is at or just past peak fall color. The birch and aspen are vibrant shades of yellow, and the maples are holding onto their orange and red leaves. Vermilion Park Drive, the entrance road leading to the campground, is a good spot to view the colorful leaves. Hwy 169 is also recommended. Mine tours are open weekends through MEA weekend, Oct. 20-22.

Bear Head Lake State Park – Ely
The red oaks are holding onto their burnt red and orange leaves, but windy conditions have brought down lots of bright yellow and orange aspen leaves. The tamaracks are beginning to add their brilliant gold color to the mix.

Cascade River State Park – Grand Marais
The entire park is blazing with color right now, but the leaves are dropping fast as well. Any trail within the park is sure to be exceptional for the next few days, and Lookout Mountain still offers spectacular views! Visitors will see yellow-green aspen, golden birch and raging waterfalls, along with an occasional bright red or orange maple.

Temperance River State Park – Tofte
The aspen and birch along the Lake Superior shoreline are stunning shades of bright yellow and gold, but the leaves aren’t expected to remain above ground for long. While the inland maple forests are also at peak shades of yellow, gold, coral, peach, tangerine and crimson, leaves are dropping quickly. The 6-mile, round-trip hike to Carlton Peak will reward you with broad vistas and panoramic views of the maple forests. Carefully explore the River Gorge to view the rushing waters of the Temperance River.

Gooseberry Falls State Park – Two Harbors
The fall colors are bright and beautiful with brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red filling the park. Recommended hikes include the Gitchi Gummi Trail with its view of Gooseberry River Valley and Lake Superior. High Point Lookout is a must for those who want a longer trail with great views. Programs offered Oct. 14 include a Civilian Conservation Corps hike and discussion about the men and boys who lived at and built Gooseberry Falls State Park.

Jay Cooke State Park–Carlton
The park foliage is just past its peak. While there is still plenty of color, some of the trees have lost their leaves. Driving into the park on Hwy. 210 is a great way to see the abundant fall colors along the St. Louis River. Stop at the Swinging Bridge to view the river up close. The overlooks at Oldenburg Point will give you panoramic view of the park and river valley.

Father Hennepin State Park – Isle, southeast edge of Lake Mille Lacs
The maples have turned bright yellow and orange, with a few displaying stunning red leaves. A hike to Pope’s Point is recommended — start at the beach and walk along the shore while listening to the waves on Lake Mille Lacs. A picnic at the Lakeview Shelter is also a good choice.

Northwest Minnesota

Most parks in this region of the state are past their peak for fall color, however, the oaks, aspen and tamaracks at Itasca State Park are very colorful. A drive along the Lake Country Scenic Byway should also offer some nice fall color this weekend.

Zippel Bay State Park–Williams, northwest of Baudette
The forest remains very golden but the leaves are falling fast. Hike the 1.5 miles of trails that follow Lake of the Woods.

Lake Bronson State Park – Lake Bronson, far northwest corner of Minnesota
While the leaves are quickly falling to the forest floor, some nice fall color remains in the wooded areas of the park.

Hayes Lake State Park – south of Roseau
Most of the trees are bare following recent heavy rains and wind, and the park is now closed for the season.

Big Bog Recreation Area–Waskish
The tamarack trees are bright shades of yellow and orange along the Big Bog Boardwalk. Many of the other tree species along the entrance road and Ludlow Pond are holding on to their brightly colored leaves. Be sure to climb the firetower for a spectacular view of the Upper Red Lake shoreline and the Big Bog. Canoeing on the slow moving Tamarac River is a great way to view all of the color — consider renting a canoe from the park office.

Lake Bemidji State Park – Bemidji
Although the maples are past peak, the oaks are coming on strong with dark red and copper colored leaves. The tamaracks at the bog and Sundew Pond are starting to turn golden. The bog walk and the trail to Sundew Pond are now best for fall color.

Itasca State Park – north of Park Rapids
While Itasca is now past its peak for fall color, plenty of stunning color remains as the oak and aspen reach their peak and the tamaracks begin to add their brilliant golds to the mix. This second wave of transformation has filled the forests with deep golds, yellows, oranges and reds which are especially beautiful surrounding the park’s 100 lakes. For lovely views of the oak and aspen tour the South Entrance Road and Wilderness Drive. Top picks for hiking trails include the Aiton Heights, Dr. Roberts and Brower trails.

Buffalo River State Park – Moorhead
Most of the cottonwood, aspen and poplar trees have dropped their leaves, but beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves are lingering in the oak and elm. A walk on the Prairie View Trail offers colorful sights of the oak dominated forest. For a shorter trip, head to the picnic area for an overlook of the Buffalo River.

Central Minnesota

Fall color at most parks in the central region of the state is either at, nearing or just peak. Some of the most colorful parks this weekend should be Maplewood, Glendalough and Mille Lacs Kathio state parks, as well as the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Also consider a drive along the Glacial Ridge Trail Scenic Byway or Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway.

Maplewood State Park – Pelican Rapids
Maplewood is known for its stunning maples, and the fall colors are just about at their peak! There are bright yellow, orange and red maples throughout the park. The ripening prairie grasses are showing peak shades of gold, blue, maroon and bronze. The golden shimmer of aspens and the deep purple and bronzes of the oaks are adding to the beauty. Hallaway Hill is always an excellent vantage point to view fall colors, and the scenic park drive offers a colorful 4.5-mile drive through the heart of Maplewood’s forests and prairies. Boats, canoes and kayaks are available for rent — check with the park office for details.

Glendalough State Park – Battle Lake
While some of the trees are losing their leaves, most of the maples remain stunning shades of red and orange, and the ash and cottonwood trees are still a bright yellow. Even the oaks are turning gold and maroon. The prairie grasses continue to show an array of purple and orange. Recommended areas in the park include the bike trail, lodge, trail center, and the middle of the lake from canoe or kayak — rent one at the park office through Oct. 22!

Sibley State Park – north of Willmar
Peak fall color came on suddenly, and Sibley’s peak fall color show is starting to fade. The big bluestem and Indian grass are holding onto gold and maroon hues. The ash trees remain a striking bronze. The oaks are beginning to turn various shades of red. Most of the maples and early-turning trees and shrubs have shed their leaves. Hike the Mount Tom Trail then climb to the Mount Tom Lookout for a panoramic view of Sibley and beyond. Kayaks and canoes are available to rent most weekends — experience a unique view of the park from Lake Andrew.

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park – Little Falls
The oaks are quickly filling with burnt orange and maroon leaves, but the maples are past their peak and most of the ash and elm trees are bare.

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park – Onamia
Fall color is spectacular with crimson red, orange and yellow trees visible throughout the park. Mille Lacs Kathio’s 100-foot observation tower offers an amazing view of the fall colors along Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Shakopee and the Rum River. Rent a canoe, kayak or rowboat, or bring one of your own to explore the beautiful waters of Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. Don’t miss the trail walk offered Oct. 14.

Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area – Crosby, northeast of Brainerd
Deep reds, warm golds and bright yellows are visible throughout Cuyuna Country, with patches of vibrant red and orange showing up in the maples. Fall color enthusiasts will want to check out Miner’s Mountain Overlook for views 200 feet above the surrounding area. The overlook can be accessed by vehicle or bike. There are numerous scenic overlooks along the paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and the mountain bike trail system. For those who want to do some hiking away from the paved trail, the 10 mile Sagamore Unit is the place to go. Fall color viewing by boat, canoe or kayak is another great way to view the transformation. Be sure to inquire about the yurts with woodstoves.

Savanna Portage State Park – north of McGregor
The forest is golden, but the color is fading fast as leaves fall to the ground. The Continental Divide Trail, Wolf Lake, Loon Lake, and Lake Shumway are holding onto the best fall colors.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Area

Fall color continues to spread throughout the Twin Cities vicinity. Peak or near peak fall color can be found at Wild River and Interstate state parks, as well as the Big Woods parks within the Three Rivers Park District. Also consider a visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, or a drive along the Minneapolis Grand Rounds Scenic Byway or St. Croix Scenic Byway.

Wild River State Park – Almelund, east of North Branch
The Visitor Center deck offers stunning views of near peak conditions in the St. Croix River Valley. Cooler temperatures have led to an increase in fall color change, especially in the maples which are full of vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves. The ash, birch and aspen continue to cast a golden glow in the forests. The oaks are just beginning to turn. A few of the riverbank trails remain flooded — check with the park office for updates.

Interstate State Park – Taylors Falls
Cooler temperatures have brought out more vibrant fall colors. The yellow and orange trees are lovely across the St. Croix River Valley. Hike the River Trail for stunning views, the Sandstone Bluffs Trail for great views and a workout, or the Glacial Potholes Trail for the unique geology. Also enjoy guided Glacial Pothole Tours at noon most Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 21.

William O’Brien State Park – Marine on St. Croix/north of Stillwater
Bright fall colors fill the trees behind Lake Alice. The Prairie Overlook Trail in the northern section of the park, and the Riverside Trail that follows the St. Croix River and Lake Alice are beautiful.

Fort Snelling State Park – St. Paul
The ash and cottonwood trees are shedding their golden leaves on windy days. Many of the silver maples are still green, providing a nice contrast in color. The sumac shrubs are a brilliant red on the west side of Snelling Lake. Please note that the Pike Island Trail is currently closed due to flooding, and the boat docks on Picnic Island and Cedar have been pulled from the water.

Three Rivers Park District – Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott & Wright counties
The trees are at their peak this week at all of the Big Woods parks within the Three Rivers Park District, including Lake Rebecca, Baker, Carver and Elm Creek park reserves. While the recent frost may soften the colors a bit, the maples are filled with beautiful shades of red and orange. The oak-dominated parks such as Hyland and Murphy-Hanrehan park reserves, and Eagle Lake Golf, Bryant Lake and Silverwood parks are just beginning to take on fall color.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – Chaska
With the most diverse collection of trees in one place in the state, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers an amazing fall color experience. The sugar maples are in their glory right now! For the best color viewing, plan to walk through several collections. The grounds are the least crowded before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

Southern Minnesota

Most state parks in southwestern Minnesota are now past peak, but parks in southeastern Minnesota are nearing peak shades of yellow, orange and red. The strongest displays this weekend should be found at Nerstrand Big Woods, Forestville and Whitewater state parks. Also consider a drive along the Historic Bluff Country National Scenic Byway and the Apple Blossom Drive Scenic Byway.

Nerstrand Big Woods State Park – Nerstrand, south of Northfield
Fall colors are at their peak, with a nice mix of red, orange and yellow leaves. The prairie grasses are adding to the beauty. Hike to the far south end of the park to Prairie Trail and enjoy a colorful 1.5 miles through the woods, and another 1.5 miles around the prairie loop. Also be sure to check out the rushing waters of Hidden Falls.

Great River Bluffs State Park – Winona
The maples and sumac continue to take on shades of bright red, orange and yellow. The other tree species and understory shrubs are quickly becoming more colorful. Hike to the five scenic overlooks for breathtaking views of the Mississippi River Valley.

Frontenac State Park – southeast of Red Wing
The ash, sumac and some prairie grass varieties are past their peak, but the rest of the park foliage is just starting to change color. A hike through the prairie and along portions of the Hiking Club Trail will offer the nicest views. Rent a canoe and paddle around the Pleasant Valley Lakelet for a different view of the fall colors in the park.

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park – Preston
There has been a resurgence of color change and the maple trees are at their peak for fall color. It won’t be long until the red oaks are also dazzling shades of red and orange. The rivers and creeks are running high which can be a challenge for trout anglers. Hikers have been enjoying the view from the Scenic Overlook off of the Sandbank Trail. Mystery Cave Scenic Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the end of October.

Whitewater State Park – Altura, north of St. Charles
The maple trees are popping, with vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow throughout the park. The ash, cottonwood, sumac, cherry and blue beech are adding lovely fall color to the mix. Hike the Chimney Rock Trail to Inspiration Point for some great overlook views of the Whitewater River.

Sakatah Lake State Park – Waterville
The American elm, ash, poplar, walnut, maple and oak trees are bright shades of yellow and orange, however many are rapidly dropping their leaves. The views along the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail are best.

Fort Ridgely State Park – Fairfax, northwest of New Ulm
Leaves are changing color quickly, with lots of golden yellow in the ash and cottonwoods. The maples are adding orange and red to the mix. The bluffs along the Minnesota River are filled with rich fall color. The upper picnic area is lovely with lots of orange, yellow and brown in a variety of trees. The campground road is a beautiful drive to take in the park.

Lake Shetek State Park – Slayton
The trees are starting to drop their leaves, but many remain very yellow. Hike the Smith Lake and Loon Island trails for views of the lakes. Visit the picnic area and beach house for a view of Lake Shetek and surrounding shorelines. The docks and fishing piers are still accessible, and boat, canoe and kayak rentals are available at the park office.

Big Stone Lake State Park – Ortonville
The Bluebird Trail offers a great hike through the lingering fall color. The drive along Hwy 7 from Ortonville to Browns Valley is also very colorful. The Bonanza Area glows in the morning and evening sun, and the hillsides are beautiful.

Vacation Goals: Where to Choose

Do you have every one of your vacation goals set for 2018 or do you require a few recommendations? While we can’t choose for you, we can offer you a few hints on the most proficient method to choose and put forth a few inquiries to enable you to get some clarity! The short answer is there’s no single perfect answer, and it really depends on key factors like personal travel style, size of group, length of time you have available, and of course your finances. With so much advertising shoved in our faces these days between print, TV and digital media, all vying for our attention, deciding which vacation destination to pick can be overwhelming. Value your hard earned dollars by putting more meaning into it, so you’ll have a much better chance of a more memorable and rewarding experience. When you get all that figured out, and your options for where you can go, your travels are endless. I’ll leave you with this… “Many things will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those!” believe in accumulating memories, not just possessions why picking your Vacation Paradise.
Sincerely, White Birch Resort

Experience the Northwoods of Minnesota

“Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.”- George Washington Carver

The Minnesota’s Northwoods define this statement perfectly, isn’t it?
The speechless charm, an isolated pathway surrounded by the sky-high trees, the peeping sunrays, the flora till the horizon, water skiing fun— Welcome to Northwoods! You are in the mid of the shrubby woods of Minnesota.

The Northwoods are eminent as the boreal forests of North America and an amazing spot to explore adventures and hunting at the most. Blessed with a rich heritage of “evergreens”, these forests are the unexampled beauty to cherish. It is because of the presence of wood’s mammoth area and variation in the soil as well as climate. Therefore, you can become the witness of natural flora and fauna by visiting here. Such an adorable view it will be!

Basically, Northwoods embody the regions of Minnesota, Montana, Michigan, New York, etc. of the USA. No matter, whether you are an American or belong to some other country, if you want a refreshing break from your hectic life, then look no further than the Northwoods. Here, you will definitely get an unbeatable vacation experience of your life. As you enter this habitat, you will find various luxury resorts and accommodations to stay in. The best part is that these resorts offer multiple recreational activities for fun and entertainment.

The Best 3’s of Northwoods

Perfect Season for Hunting in Northwoods

If you are off to Northwoods in the current season, then you are lucky enough to enjoy hunting. Usually, this recreational activity turns on in September and lasts long till the end of the year. October is in succession and you can take the best advantage of hunting in the Northwoods of Minnesota. More precisely, October is perfect for woodcock and grouse hunting, as it will cease at the end of this month.

Wonderful Lake Recreational Activities

Northwoods is quite prominent for pristine lakes, such as Gull Lake, etc. And, the tourists can relish every second in the lakes in several fun activities, like- fishing, water skiing, canoeing, boating, kayaking, and swimming in summers, whereas, snowshoeing, ice fishing,  cross-country skiing, ice fishing, etc. in winters.

Crystal Clear Sky with Multiple Constellations at Night

The night view is just heart stealing. Away from the noise pollution and other pollutants of the city, the Northwoods bestow the tourists upon with the striking and lovely sky full of numerous constellations. The entire sky lights up with infinite numbers of stars and the natural luster of the Moon.

Do you want to disappear in this blissful splendor of the Northwoods? Book a splendid resort and get ready to feel the revitalizing air of Northwoods.

The White Birch Resort is one of the dazzling resorts in Minnesota’s Northwoods. Integrated with comfortable & opulent rooms, this resort will definitely give you a reason to stay here. It is only an ace as a unique hi-end boutique resort in Minnesota. Regardless of the season, you are cordially greeted here to acquire the life’s finest matchless moments. With a lot to explore, this resort is an unexampled spot with many superb packages, in sync with the requisites of all tourists.

Don’t miss out! Walk a mile ahead and admire the invincible ecstasy of Northwoods!

State Fair is arounf the corner!

The Minnesota State Fair is known for foods on a stick, adorable baby animals, great concerts and those infamous butter sculptures. This year’s event, held Aug. 24-Sept. 4, is no exception.

In addition to offering the old standbys, the 2017 get-together has plenty of new exhibits and edibles, including the Great Big Wheel, the tallest traveling Ferris wheel in North America. Sports fans will enjoy the NHL Centennial Fan Arena that celebrates 100 years of unforgettable NHL moments with memorabilia, a virtual reality Zamboni experience and an opportunity to see the Stanley Cup.

Visit the West End Market, a one-of-a-kind destination that celebrates the spirit of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. The area includes the Minnesota State Fair History & Heritage Center, showcasing treasured artifacts and photographs that highlight the fair’s 150+ years of history.

Thrill seekers of all ages will find dozens of rides in the Mighty Midway and Kidway including the new Clown Around ride that takes little ones for a spin. For the grown-ups, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild sells flights of local beers, experts host demos on gardening and eco-living, and merchants sell everything from handcrafted pottery to accessories made of bicycle parts. If you like to knit, visit Minnesota’s largest yarnbomb – a form of street art featuring crocheted, knitted and other crafted yarn creations on the Grandstand ramp.

State Fair cheese curds_square

Music fans of all kinds will find artists they love playing at the Grandstand; this year’s lineup features Nickelback (Aug. 24), Stevie Nicks (Aug. 25), comedian Jim Gaffigan (Aug. 26), Toby Keith with special guest 3 Doors Down (Aug.  27), Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (Aug. 28), John Mellencamp (Aug. 29), Pentatonix (Aug. 30), Usher (Aug. 31), Garrison Keillor (Sept. 1), and country star Sam Hunt (Sept. 4).

It wouldn’t be the State Fair without indulging in some one-of-a-kind foods. Mini donuts, cheese curds, French fries, corn dogs and chocolate chip cookies are among the staples, as well as more than 60 things on a stick. Some new dishes for 2017 include duck bacon wontons, deep-fried avocado, cranberry wild rice meatballs and a pizzarito. Discover your favorite with the fair’s online Food Finder.

3-Fun Filled Days along Minnesota’s I-35

Lakes food and beer banner

Curious Goat burger / TJ Turner; Castle Danger beer / Brian Jeremiason

If your first thoughts when reminiscing about summer don’t take you to a lake, you have been doing your summers wrong! Minnesota is teeming with a trifecta of summer fun statewide, with its gorgeous lakes, delicious and unique food selection, and up-and-coming brewery scene.

We’ve compiled three days’ worth of these summer treats to help you experience Minnesota the way the locals do, or if you live here, to ensure you have a summer to remember.

This tour loosely follows Interstate 35 from north to south, but feel free to start wherever you choose and create your own adventure.



Gooseberry Falls / Photo by Eve Schrank

If you’re starting your trip in Duluth (the north end of I-35), drive about an hour up the shore to begin your day on Lake Superior. (If you can’t wait to eat, stop at the Duluth Grill and order a hearty plate of corned beef hash and eggs to fuel up.) Hike or bike along the Gitchi Gami State Trail and catch a view of landmarks like Split Rock Lighthouse and the spectacular waterfall at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Snap some pictures and soak in as many beautiful hiking opportunities as possible as you make your way down the shore; the gorgeous and lengthy Superior Hiking Trail connects with the Gitchi Gami at both of these sites.

You’re going to need some hearty food to make it through the rest of your adventurous day along the North Shore. Fuel up at the Rustic Inn Cafe, a local favorite, with menu highlights including the cranberry and wild rice waffle and the Logger’s Skillet, a hash-brown assortment of Italian sausage, cheese and more, including a full side of pancakes. And be sure to save room for pie!

After brunch, continue down the shore to Castle Danger Brewery and kick back in the taproom surrounded by the beauty of the area. The brewery hosts a variety of live music performances and allows outside food to be brought in while you sample the beer selection. Try the summer seasonal Summer Crush ale to get the full “summer” effect.

lake superior canoe ride

Lake Superior / Photo by Alyssa Hei

Lastly, venture back to Duluth’s harbor and rent a watercraft to explore the greatest of the Great Lakes. Be adventurous and kayak, canoe or even take a sailboat excursion along the harbor to discover why it’s Instagrammed so often. Sunset kayak tours are offered through The Duluth Experience, and sunset cruises can be booked via Moon Shadow Sailing and Vista Fleet.

If you’re in the mood for a night cap, head to Fitger’s Brewhouse for some food and beer to reward yourself after an epic day. Other options include Canal Park Brewery (try the Pils Popper), Bent Paddle (try the Paddle Break Blonde) and Thirsty Pagan Brewing (try the Stoned Surf IPA).

>Find places to stay in the Duluth area


lake harriet calm

Lake Harriet / Photo by Shawn Orton

After checking out of your hotel, head about two hours south for a day of urban exploration. Start in the capital city of St. Paul with brunch at the Happy Gnome on Selby Avenue. Try the Bloody Mary bar along with an artisanal cheese plate, or chow down on some apple-bacon pancakes.

Next, cross over to Minneapolis for a combination of gorgeous skylines and soaking up some sun on the calming Lake Harriet. There are walking and biking paths around the lake and other areas to explore, including a rose garden and a mysterious elf who allegedly lives in a tree on the south side of the lake and replies to letters left for him (just look for the tiny door).

Sociable Cider Werks brewery_square

Sociable Cider Werks

Lake Harriet also features a band shell for concerts in the park, food at the Bread & Pickle and lots of rentals, including paddleboards, pedal boats, double-kayaks, and single and tandem bikes. Another popular spot nearby is Minnehaha Park and Falls; be sure to grab lunch at the Sea Salt Eatery if you go.

End your day with a visit to Sociable Ciderwerks in the eclectic Northeast neighborhood. Sociable specializes in cider that even beer lovers will love. Varieties named after biking accessories—Fat Bike, Freewheeler and Spoke Wrench—flood the tap list, and each have unique flavors but remain crisp, refreshing and not full of sugar.

>Find places to stay in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area


Before hopping back on the highway to venture south, have a hearty breakfast at The Buttered Tin in St. Paul’s hip Lowertown neighborhood. This quaint and cozy restaurant has all your breakfast favorites and some great new tries, such as the huevos rancheros Benedict and falafel burger.

Faribault Woolen Mill_Kirsten Alana

Faribault Woolen Mill / Photo by Kirsten Alana

Once you’re fed, head about 45 minutes south to the charming town of Northfield. Best known as the site of the defeat of the notorious Jesse James Gang, it’s now a shopping destination as well. Highlights include The Rare Pair, A Bag Lady, Eclectic Goat and Swag.

From Northfield, continue south to Faribault, home to the historic Faribault Woolen Mill, where throws, scarves, clothes and even puppy blankets are for sale. Tours are also offered every Friday and second Saturday of the month.

After you’ve picked up some local flair, get your daily brew at F-Town, which serves up glasses of beer with quirky names such as Nutso and Flex Less. Brewery tours are offered on Thursdays and Saturdays.

From F-Town, you can easily get to the Cheese Cave and have yourself some delicious, locally made cheese. Faribault’s esteemed blue cheese of three different kinds (they also serve artisan sandwiches, like the raved-about grilled cheese or southwest beef panini) are the perfect snack as you continue exploring southern Minnesota.

Sunset fishing in Fairmont_Greg Abel

Photo by Greg Abel

We can’t forget the lake on this leg of the trip, so we saved Albert Lea, dubbed “the land between the lakes,” for your last stop on the journey. Experience Fountain and/or Albert Lea Lake and all of the activities on them: fishing, boating, waterskiing, or just relaxing and taking a dip.

Be sure to soak up the natural landscape around these lakes at Myre Big Island State Park and Edgewater Park. There are also special events like the Bayside Water Ski Shows on Thursday nights, June through August. The Pelican Breeze II offers guided boat cruises from June to October, with themes nights and other surprises. Or bike along the Blazing Star Trail for a memorable end to your trip.

River Fishing the Land of 10,000 Lakes

St. Cloud 2 CW_Outfitters_TheEuls_5637.jpg

Photo by Chelsea & Eric Eul, courtesy of Clear Waters Outfitting

On a blue-sky summer day, the Mississippi River curves and flows around St. Cloud’s Beaver Islands, where anglers easily find solitude along this scenic stretch in a boat, canoe, fishing kayak, or simply casting from parks along the shore.

“This stretch [of the Mississippi from St. Cloud to Anoka] has become one of the top river smallmouth bass fisheries in the country,” says Dan Meer, owner of Clear Waters Outfitting Co. “Smallmouth bass are known to be the best fighting fish per pound,” which makes them a fun challenge to catch.

The famed Mississippi originates humbly at Itasca State Park and journeys more than 600 miles through Minnesota, including its 1.7-mile-wide Lake Pepin. Commercial boat traffic can go as far as Minneapolis, but even the busier, southern stretches of Mississippi appeal to paddlers and anglers who find the bluff country’s quiet backwaters rich in wildlife and a variety of fish including northern pike, walleye, muskie, largemouth bass, crappies and catfish.

Fly fishing Root River in PrestonMinnesota boasts more than 6,500 natural rivers and streams comprising more than 69,000 miles. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers fishing classes, maintains more than 30 state water trails, and numerous state parks where you can check out free rods and reels and tackle boxes. Check the DNR fishing page for where to go and updates on access points, fishing piers, river landscapes and wildlife, rapids and water levels, fish consumption advisories and outfitters that can provide shuttles, watercraft and maps.

River anglers also can join organizations such as Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association or team up with someone who can leave a vehicle at the final pullout destination so you can go with the flow on your river of choice. Kayaks generally maneuver shallow waters better than boats, and can be easier to get onto the water. Newer designs include hands-free propulsion and modern electronics for locating fish.

Beyond the Mississippi, here’s a sampling of Minnesota’s better-known rivers:


Flowing through the rolling hills and woods south of the Twin Cities, this rural river yields northern pike, black crappies, catfish and smallmouth bass.


Boat on Minnesota River in Bloomington fallFrom its confluence with the Mississippi River below historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul, this placid river flows 370 miles south to Mankato and west to Big Stone Lake at Ortonville. Known for channel and flathead catfish (including a 50-pounder), it’s also possible to reel in walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and sauger. Big Stone LakeLac qui Parle and Upper Sioux Agency state parks all offer fishing kits to borrow.


Flowing north along Minnesota’s northwest border, this warm, muddy river harbors channel catfish, smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, sauger and lake sturgeon. Campsites can be found along the shore at East Grand Forks’ Red River State Recreation Area.


Smallmouth bass, catfish, rock bass and more can be found in this gentle to moderate flowing river through southeast Minnesota. Some spots may harbor brown trout, which thrives in the region’s smaller streams.


St Croix River at William O'Brian State ParkWith the Dalles rocky bluffs and glacial potholes at Interstate State Park, this river dividing northern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota delivers dramatic scenery along with smallmouth bass, catfish, walleye, sauger and lake sturgeon among its 60-plus species of fish. Other state parks along its shores: AftonSt. Croixand Wild River.


This Iron Range river known for dramatic rapids sought by expert paddlers joins Lake Superior at Duluth, where its 12,000-acre sprawl makes it North America’s largest freshwater estuary. Restoration efforts are underway to reclaim the estuary from former industries and improve access for anglers seeking walleye, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass and sturgeon.

Minnesota Trail Report

Some areas of northern Minnesota received nearly half a foot of snow earlier this week. In some areas it’s still snowing, with additional accumulation expected this weekend. Ski trails throughout the northern one-third of Minnesota are groomed and in good to excellent condition. And many snowmobile trails are open and in good condition, including at Ely, Finland, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, International Falls and Lutsen. Please note that trail conditions can change on a daily basis; please call ahead for the most current conditions. whitebirchresort.net

Explore Minnesota will report winter trail conditions each Thursday afternoon during the winter season, with updates as changes in conditions warrant. Information used to compile the Winter Trails Report is provided courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources Climatology Office, Voyageurs National Park, the Three Rivers Park District, and communities throughout the state. exploreminnesota.com

A Snowmobile State Trail sticker is required for all snowmobiles operating on state or grant-in-aid trails. All cross-country skiers on state park or forest ski trails, or on state or grant-in-aid trails, who are 16 years old or older must have a Minnesota Ski Pass. For further information, contact the Department of Natural Resources, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-888-646-6367. To order cross-country ski passes and snowmobile trail stickers, dial 1-888-665-4236 or access the DNR Online License Sales web site. To locate a license center in Minnesota to purchase ski passes and snowmobile stickers, check out DNR License Agents.

For a customized travel planner to help you plan your Minnesota getaway, contact one of our travel counselors at 888-TOURISM (888-868-7476), or request a planner at Contact a Travel Counselor.

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Northeast Region

International Falls

The Koochiching State Forest Tilson Creek Ski Trail is in very good condition for classic and skate skiing. The base of the trail measures more than 3 inches, with more than 8 inches of snow on the ground. The trail has been groomed with double skate lanes and tracks. Area snowmobile trails running through Voyageurs National Park and throughout the Rainy Lake vicinity are reported to be in good shape. The ice roads on Rainy Lake are open and the snowmobile trails are marked and groomed. Riders are asked to please watch for pressure ridges along the way! More information is also available at www.rainylake.org

Side Lake/N of Hibbing

Skiers report very good conditions on trails within McCarthy Beach State Park. Roughly 6 miles of trails have been groomed, with a base measuring 4 inches. The snowmobile trails have also been groomed, and are reported to be in fair condition–the base averages 2 inches. Just to the west, snowmobile trails running through George Washington State Forest have been freshly groomed following the recent 5-6 inches of snow. The trail base measures 3 inches, and conditions are good throughout the area. Riders are asked to be aware of active logging activity, especially along the south end of the Circle L system. Ski trails in the forest have a 2-3 inch groomed surface, and are in good condition. And just to the north, the section of the Arrowhead State Snowmobile Trail running north of Orr is in good condition, with a 3 inch groomed surface. The entire trail should be regroomed prior to the weekend, improving conditions even more. Approximately 10 inches of snow covers the ground.


The snowmobile trails running through Lake Vermilion State Park are reported to be in fair condition, with a 4 inch base. Please use caution due to sections of thin trail base that may expose rocks as trail use increases. Temporary snowmobile trails run through some of the best viewing areas of the park, and connect with the Lake Vermilion ice trail and a spur of the Taconite State Snowmobile Trail that runs through Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The nearby segment of the Taconite Trail has a 2-4 inch groomed surface, but conditions are poor to fair. Local snow depth is 8-11 inches. The Taconite should be fully regroomed prior to the weekend.


Five inches of fresh snow has fallen over the past few days, and it continues to snow! The Hidden Valley Cross Country Ski Trails and Babbitt Golf Course Trails are reported to be in excellent condition for classic and skate skiing, with a nice solid 8 inch base overall. The Bear Head Lake State Park campground loops and some of the other ski trails are freshly groomed and in good condition, with an 8 inch base. The snowmobile trails are also groomed and in good condition. These trails have a 6 inch base. Local snow depth is 13 inches. A Guest House and five camper cabins are open in the winter. All snowmobile trails in the Ely vicinity should be freshly groomed prior to the weekend. Conditions are considered fair to good, including along the Putnam/Fishing Lakes Trail running through Bear Island State Forest. These trails have a 3-5 inch base on average, however riders are asked to watch for exposed rocks on portions of the Fishing Lakes Trail. While the lake trails are in very good shape, riders should use caution and stay on the staked trails due to several pressure ridges on some of the lakes. Area snowcover measures 8-10 inches. Please note that trail conditions can change on a daily basis–more information is available at www.ely.org.

Grand Marais/Gunflint Trail

In Cook County, just outside of Grand Marais up the Gunflint Trail, Central Gunflint Trail ski trails have a 7-8 inch packed powder surface, and are reported to be in excellent shape. There are 70 kilometers of trails groomed for traditional skiing, and 40 kilometers groomed for skate skiing. Roughly 17 inches of snow covers the ground in this area. In the Upper Gunflint Trail vicinity, total accumulation in the woods is 16-18 inches. Most trails in this area have an 8 inch base, and skiers report excellent conditions. And riders report that area snowmobile trails are in good condition overall, with a trail base of 5-7 inches.


Up the Sawbill Trail, located inland from Lutsen, ski conditions are excellent at the end of the trail. These backcountry trails receive minimal grooming–the base measures roughly 16 inches. Since this area is very remote, please have plenty of gas in a good operating vehicle and come prepared with winter survival gear. Travel to the very end of the Sawbill Trail, walk over the snowbank, and you’ll see the trail. It’s old fashioned skiing at its best! And just east of here, all 17 kilometers of the Deeryard Loop have been groomed for classic skiing. The trail base measures 2-8 inches, and conditions are excellent from Caribou to the ski hill road– the Hall/Massie is marginal to good. Nearby, Cascade River State Parkoffers 18 miles of packed and groomed ski trails. The base measures 2-6 inches, and conditions are good overall. Please note that the base is thinnest near Lake Superior. The frozen waterfalls are spectacular, and just a quick hike or snowshoe from the Trail Center. Snowshoes are available for rent at the park office. From 3-9 inches of snow covers the ground at Cascade River State Park. The two miles of snowmobile trails running through the park are groomed, with a 2-8 inch base–conditions are good.

Finland/Grand Marais

The portion of the North Shore State Snowmobile Trail running from the Sawbill Trail north to the Gunflint Trail Junction just south of Grand Marais was groomed earlier this week. The trail base measures 3-5 inches, and conditions are good. The section south of the Sawbill Trail has some rough and thin spots, and conditions are poor to fair. Local snow depth ranges from 3 inches to the south to 13 inches at Grand Marais.

Grand Rapids

The Cow Horn Road cross-country ski trails running through Golden Anniversary State Forest are reported to be in good condition following the additional 4 inches of fresh snow. The trail base measures 2 inches, and local snow depth is 7 inches. To the north, Scenic State Park ski and snowmobile trails have been groomed, and conditions are good. The base of these trails measures 4-5 inches. Area snow cover measures 1 foot.

Northwest Region

Williams/NW of Baudette

Zippel Bay State Park cross-country ski trails are now fully groomed, with a 6 inch base. Conditions are very good. The snowmobile trail has not yet been groomed, and conditions remain poor. Local snow depth is 1 foot.

Lake Bronson/far NW corner

Lake Bronson State Park ski trails are partially groomed, and conditions are reported to be good. The base on the trails measures 2-3 inches, and approximately 7 inches of snow covers the ground.

Argyle/NW of Thief River Falls

The ski trails at Old Mill State Park were groomed February 22. The trail base measures 2 inches, and conditions are good. A Candlelight Ski will be held here this Saturday, February 25 from 6:30-9:00 p.m.


The ski trails at Lake Bemidji State Park are in very good condition following the recent snowfall, and the trails will be regroomed tomorrow which will improve conditions even more! The trail base measures roughly 4 inches. The snowmobile trails remain ungroomed and in poor condition. Local snow depth is 14 inches. A Candlelight Ski will be held this Saturday, February 25, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Glyndon/E of Moorhead

Buffalo River State Park offers a three mile river loop for cross-country skiing. This trail was groomed February 21, and conditions are good. The trail base measures 2 inches.

Most other ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of snow.

Central Region

Pelican Rapids/Fergus Falls

Maplewood State Park received roughly 5 inches of fresh snow on February 20, enough to pack the one mile ski trail around Cataract Lake. The base of the trail measures 2 inches, and conditions are good. The Friends of Maplewood will be hold a Candlelight Ski, Snowshoe & Hike on Saturday, February 25 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Most other ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of snow.

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan Vicinity

Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott and Wright county parks

As of Wednesday, February 22, Elm Creek Park Reserve, located in Maple Grove and part of the Three Rivers Park District, was reported to offer good conditions for classic and skate skiing. The lesson area is also packed, tracked and in great shape for both types of skiing. The lights have been turned on, and rentals are available at Elm Creek. The chalet is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. These trails typically receive heavy use from area ski teams–please call ahead for scheduled race and practice times. 763/559-6778, ext. 2. And some trails at Cleary Lake Regional Park at Prior Lake and French Regional Park at Plymouth have now been packed and are in fair condition.


Theodore Wirth Park, part of the Minneapolis Park System, has snow-making equipment and continues to offer skiable trails. Skiers report good conditions for classic and skate skiing due to consistent grooming and well-maintained trails. There are trails for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers, as well as a practice area, lessons, equipment rental, and a 3.1 kilometer lighted manmade snow loop. The lighted loop is busiest from 3:00-6:00 p.m. weekdays when high school cross-country ski teams use the trail–please call ahead for a schedule of practice times and upcoming races. 612/230-6400

Lake Elmo

Green Acres Recreation Area has 6 kilometers of trails overall, and 2.5 kilometers with manmade snow. Skiers report good conditions, with consistently well-groomed trails for traditional and skate skiing. Please note that these trails generally receive heavy use from area ski teams during late afternoon and early evening hours–please call ahead for scheduled race and practice times. 651/770-6060

Most other ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of snow.

Southern Region

All ski and snowmobile trails in this region of the state are either in poor condition or remain closed due to a lack of of snow.